Y12 Media // Resource Pack Contents Teaching Schedule Straight Outta Compton Assessment Example Answer Straight Outta Compton Key Teaching Slides Main Assessment Mind Map Example Answer Daily Mirror Annotations Beyonce Formation Mind Map Postmodernism Mind Map Feminist Theory Recap Factsheets Straight Outta Compton, Daily Mirror, Beyonce Formation [Y12 MEDIA STUDIES AUTUMN/WINTER TERM] Week Teacher One Component One (SC) Teacher Two Component Two (MC) 1 2 3 4 Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Introduction & ML Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS ML Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Rep Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Rep 5 6 1 2 4 5 6 7 Section B: Film Ind & Context Straight Outta Compton Section B: Film Ind & Context Straight Outta Compton Section B: Film Ind & Context Straight Outta Compton Section A: Newspapers ML The Daily Mirror Section A: Newspapers Rep The Daily Mirror Section A: Newspapers Rep The Daily Mirror Section B: Newspapers Ind The Daily Mirror Section B: Newspapers Aud The Daily Mirror Section A: Music video: ML Dream
Section A: Music video: ML Dream Section A: Music video: Rep Dream Section A: Music video: Rep Dream Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Aud Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Aud OCTOBER HALF TERM Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Ind Section A: TV - LIFE ON MARS Ind NOVEMBER TESTS Component One (1hr) Component Two (1hr) Section B: Magazines - VOGUE Introduction & ML Section B: Magazines - VOGUE ML Section B: Magazines - VOGUE Rep Section B: Magazines - VOGUE Rep XMAS HOLIDAY [Y12 MEDIA STUDIES - SPRING TERM] Week Teacher One Component One (SC) 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 3 4 5 Section A: Advertising & Marketing ML Tide Section A: Advertising & Marketing Rep Tide Section A: Advertising & Marketing ML WaterAid Section A: Advertising & Marketing Rep WaterAid Section A: Advertising & Marketing ML Kiss of the Vampire Section A: Advertising & Marketing Rep Kiss of the Vampire Teacher Two Component Two (MC) Section B: Magazines - VOGUE Aud Section B: Magazines - VOGUE Aud Section B: Magazines - VOGUE Ind Section C: Online blog PointlessBlog/Zoella Introduction & ML Section C: Online blog PointlessBlog/Zoella Rep
Section C: Online blog PointlessBlog/Zoella Aud & Ind FEBRUARY HALF TERM FEBRUARY TESTS Component One (1hr) Component Two (1hr) Section B: Radio: Ind Late Night Womans Hour Component Three Choose brief/genre Research - analysis of similar products (ML, reps, audience and industry). Audience target/positioning Secondary research: industry/theory Section B: Radio: Aud Late Night Womans Hour Research & Planning Draft planning. Pitch/treatment Submit statement of Aims & Intentions Section B: Video Games: Ind Assassins Creed III: Liberation Production- Filming/photography, design, writing copy Section B: Video Games: Aud Assassins Creed III: Liberation Production- Filming/photography, design, writing copy Editing/ design/construction Full draft/rough cut TEACHER REVIEW of Component 3 Productions EASTER HOLIDAY 30 minute End of Unit Assessment Straight Outta Compton Investigating Media Industries and Audiences 1. (a) Give one example of a film studio.  (b) Briefly explain two key conventions of a film trailer.  (c) Explain how social, cultural and economic contexts influence film production. Refer to Straight Outta Compton to support your points.  2. (a) Identify two ways in which media organisations categorise audiences.  (b) Explain how film producers target audiences. Refer to Straight Outta Compton to support your points.  Example Answer 1 (a). Give one example of a film studio.  Whilst the Big Five (RKO, MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros, Fox) and Little Three (Universal, Columbia, United Artists) of the Studio System Era (1930-1960) was the Golden Age of vertical integration, the biggest contemporary studios have found success through a system of horizontal integration. These include: Walt Disney, Time Warner, 21 st Century Fox, NBC Universal, Sony and Viacom. (b) Briefly explain two key conventions of a film trailer. 
Film trailers use a variety of conventions to engage the audience, including voiceovers as a presenting showcase, kinetic editing and dramatic camera angles that create a montage of key scenes, credits of key members of cast and crew as a marketing ploy, tone established through non-diagetic music and graphically rendered intertitles to convey everything from taglines, members of cast and crew and the film title. Hopefully, the trailer will maintain some narrative enigmas. The best trailers withhold enough information to keep the spectator wanting more. (c) Explain how social, cultural and economic contexts influence film production. Refer to Straight Outta Compton to support your points.  Social and Cultural Context Hip-hop has become a mainstream genre in music and popular culture. Its impact can be evaluated well beyond its East Coast (A Tribe Called Quest, Grandmaster Flash, The Sugarhill Gang, Run DMC, De La Soul) and West Coast (N.W.A., Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Snopp Dogg) origins. The demographic is international and has transcended the success of pop and rock music in unfathomable ways. The marketability of a hip-hop origins biopic was unquestionable. The multi-talented personas of Dr Dre and Ice Cube, the villainy of Suge Knight (Death Row Records manager who took over ownership of NWA from Jerry Hellers Ruthless Records) and the tragedy of Eazy-Es death from AIDS. The Compton prime material for the biopic treatment and delineating the history of rap (less than 40 years old) was still a work in progress. Ideologically, NWAs ethos emphasises freedom of expression where words such as fuck, nigger and bitch are used repeatedly through the debut record. Their music was featured in an era of racial The Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics sticker was seen as a badge of honour and a marketing technique with the savvy that rebellion sells. This was reinforced by the polices attempt to arrest the band for playing Fuck Tha Police, which unwittingly propelled the band into the mainstream. However, hip-hop is often criticised for misogynistic lyrics, showing support for patriarchal as well as anarchistic values. The Red Band trailer is an equivalent marketing ploy and Unique Selling Point for the biopic as a reference to the bands Parental Advisory notoriety. Even the aesthetic of the films logo uses the style of the PA sticker to reflect the importance of this tag to their appeal. Economic Context Straight Outta Compton was a major marketing success story. Produced on a $28 million budget, it grossed more than $200 million worldwide. Some equate the success of this hip-hop music biopic of N.W.A. with the converging media forms and the synergy of relating media products (most notably, Dr. Dres beats headphones, his new Compton solo album, the fashion labels worn throughout the film by each character and the release of the feature film itself). Straight Outta Compton was produced by Legendary, a subsidiary of a conglomerate chain which includes Universal Studios, NBC Universal, Comcast and General Electric (GE). Whilst GE which has diversified into many industries, Comcast utilises the revenue from horizontal integration in order to maximise a films profit. In 2015, Universal Studios had 35% of the films market share, creating an
oligopoly where its closest competitor was Disney with 26% (Statistics courtesy of Rentrak). With the help of media mogul, Dr Dre, these companies made box-office history, as SOC is now considered the highest grossing music biopic of all time. Legendary has established itself as a key subsidiary production company creating films which reach both alternative and mainstream audiences, such as: Steve Jobs, Interstellar, Inception, Unbroken and Where The Wild Things Are. Alongside this, Legendary are also responsible for many DC films and a variety of big-budget blockbusters. 2. (a) Identify two ways in which media organisations categorise audiences.  Media organisations are known to apply demographics and psychographics in order to triangulate target audiences. A psychographic evaluation would apply Young and Rubicams Four Consumers theory (including Mainstreamers, Aspirers, Explorers, Succeeders and Reformers) in order to identify target audiences. Demographics will categorise audiences usually based on class, occupation and income (but also age). These social grades are categorised as A, B, C1, C2, D and E. These range from Managerial, supervisory, skilled, semi-skilled, unskilled and unemployed positions of work. Once again, these categories are used in order to find patterns in consumption which help organisations triangulate key target audiences for advertising and marketing drives. (b) Explain how film producers target audiences. Refer to Straight Outta Compton to support your points.  The key demographic for Straight Outta Compton would be 16-24 year olds as the majority of hip-hop enthusiasts reside in this age range. It could be considered a niche audience (however mainstream the genres appeal has become), so the next step for the biopic was to appeal to a mass audience and popular culture beyond the demographic. Whilst the niche audience would be guaranteed as spectators for the biopic, the mass audience required a unique selling point to broaden the films demographic. The biopic has spectatorship which goes beyond the music genres fan-base. The film could also appeal to high brow audiences by emphasizing the historicity of this music scene and the ideological significance of the bands values regarding freedom of expression. Applying a psychographic form of audience profiling, film marketers could employ techniques beyond appealing to mainstreamers, seeking out Aspirers (who see Dr Dre as a powerful media mogul who utilizes cross media ownership with skill), Explorers (who could watch the film as a form of sociological discovery), Succeeders (who could evaluate the ideological impact of the film with critical objectivity) and Reformers (who would find representations of counter-cultural scenes appealing). Advertisers effectively highlighted oppositional readings (according to Stuart Halls theories on representation) as a catalyst for curiosity. Straight Outta Compton could become a biopic with political significance. Viral campaigns and buzz marketing through the distinctive iconography of the films
logo (adopting the aesthetic of the Parental Advisory sticker) then gave license for prosumers to appropriate personalized subversions, such as Straight Outta Islington with a picture of Jeremy Corbyn arrested by police for protesting against apartheid and for Nelson Mandelas release from prison in South Africa in the 1980s. The use of #straightouttacompton on Instagram and Twitter would ensure that social media appropriation would also the prosumer would use there fandom to sell the film through grassroots methods. The branding capabilities of the film were maximized through iconic symbolism. The BBFC rated this film 15 but the uncut version was rated an 18 on DVD release. This would be an effective marketing tactic in highlighting the rebellious ethos of the N.W.A., which acts as the films unique selling point. Straight Outta Compton - Product Context Straight Outta Compton is a biopic, produced by Legendary Pictures, distributed by Universal Pictures and directed by F. Gary Gray. The film follows the story of hip hop band N.W.A. in 1980s America. Members of the band (Ice Cube and Dr. Dre) were co-producers. The film was a huge commercial and critical success, became the highest grossing music biopic of all time, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Straight Outta Compton - Historical Context The film portrays events set predominantly in mid-1980s California, USA. Social upheaval caused by the racial tension and the LA Riots in 1992 (the portrayal of 1980s California, and the possible glorification of N.W.A. as agents of social change, may have been revised or influenced by subsequent events). Straight Outta Compton - Social Context N.W.A. were significant in terms of social change as advocates for free speech, producers of protest songs and as highly successful black men from disenfranchised American urban communities. N.W.A. were also heavily criticised for their misogynistic lyrics and their promotion of a lifestyle that objectified and marginalised women. The legacy of N.W.A. Dr Dre is one of the most successful
record producers, and has also made a fortune with beats by dr dre headphones. Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight in jail Ice Cubes acting career includes Boyz N The Hood, Friday and Three Kings alongside his albums. Eric Eazy-E Wright tragically died of AIDS. NWA (and particularly Dre) have influenced Eminem, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and many rap artists. Convergence films, record labels, fashion and audiovisual brands. Synergy Dr dre beats headphones and film. Media ownership Dre as media mogul. SYNERG WhenY ideas / brands are mixed OR when a brand or product appears in various forms. CONVERGENCE The PHYSICAL bringing together of two things in the case of media TECHNOLOGIES! How 'Straight Outta Compton' Viral Marketing Became a Sensation From that popular meme to skywriting overhead, Universal Pictures, Interscope and Beats by Dre all had a hand in making 'Compton' come alive. Three months before the release of Straight Outta Compton, rapper-mogul Dr. Dre called together a meeting with top-level marketing executives from Universal Pictures, Universal Musics Interscope label, Apple and his own Beats audio company. The launch of Dres first album in 14 years, Compton, a companion piece to the film, was set to be released at the same time as the film. Interscope will also be tying their album promotion to the film over opening
weekend by running an album teaser in front of screenings of Straight Outta Compton. "The synergy that was taking place between Beats and Apple and the film company and the record company is something that was being orchestrated for the past couple of months when everything started to crystallize," says Steve Berman, Interscope vice chairman. "The promotions all complement each other So who benefits from all this synergising? Comcast own Universal, so therefore Comcast makes money from the film Universal Music Group own Interscope Records, so Universal (and therefore Comcast) makes money from the album released by Dre Apple now owns Beats by Dr Dre, and the album was only available in the first two weeks through streaming on iTunes and Apple Music (11 million streams in the first week). Dr Dre and N.W.As back catalogue saw massive interest in the opening week of the film signed to Interscope Records (owned by UMG who are owned by Comcast) So where are audiences most likely to consume film marketing? THEN: Press Releases Advertising campaigns (posters) Trailers (in the cinema, on TV) Standees (big cardboard life size images of figures from the film) Merchandise NOW:
All of that, plus: Virtual relationship hyperlink marketing (where a search engine is back-end loaded to lead searchers to film related pages and clips) Stand alone studio-sponsored websites Online digital film screeners (controlled copies of films sent to specific recipients i.e. press, sales agents, distributors etc) Franchises Viral marketing (including UGC) Interviews on TV/Radio/Magazines of key people connected with the film, like actors and Specific internet marketing campaigns where social media marketing is utilised THEORY Uses & Gratifications Theory Blumler & Katz (1974) Rap and the subgenre of gangster rap have specific and well identified fan bases. Consider the ways in which the marketing attempts to both appeal to these existing (and possibly presold) audiences and also transcend the music genre to appeal to a wider film audience. Fans of the genre/N.W.A. for instance may be attracted to trailer scenes of the band being formed or the music being discussed and recorded but wider audiences may be more interested in scenes of social tension, cultural change or personal drama. Apply the theory to the following trailers how are audiences encouraged to USE these trailers? Apply this terminology for higher levels: Beyonces Formation Music Video -
- - Multiplicity of representations (solidarity) - allusions to Black Lives Matter, Black Panthers, Malcolm X Ok ladies now lets get in formation , New Orleans backdrop (Hurricane Katrina flooding). Postmodern appropriation of a variety of contexts for ideological agendas. Mise-en-scene - Antebellum dresses, obscene gestures, figure hugging costume, direct address and lip sync, subversive representations in lyricism and music video aesthetic. Gilroy's theme of double consciousness involves Black Atlantic striving to be both European and Black through their relationship to the land of their birth and their ethnic political constituency being absolutely transformed. Band 5 (AO2) response apply knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to analyse media products, including in relation to their contexts - make judgments and draw conclusions Example Answer // Compare the choices that have been made in the representation of ethnicity in Beyonces Formation and Selmas Film Poster OTHER QUESTIONS Comparing representation - The ideological nuances between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and their pursuit for racial equality. Beyonces counter-cultural appropriation shows how racial equality movements have developed. Difference in gender representation. Selma Film Poster Tagline One Dream Can Change the World Masthead Selma red uppercase font
Anchoring image crowd on the bridge in Selma, Alabama Historical context - 60s Civil Rights movement 1965 protest which led to riots and deaths. Standing character/kneeling crowd - David Oyelowo as Martin Luther (centred) elevated representation. Film genre - Biopic Credit block Bottom of the poster - PG-13, Christmas Day film reases, Paramount, Fox Pathe Poster aesthetic red, white, black. Newspaper holding company Trinity Mirror, News Corporation. Tabloid newspaper puns, alliteration, gossip/scandal, red top. Political contexts ideological representation, bias and propaganda, IPSO regulation. Audience categories demographic, psychographic. Newspaper audience targeting synergy (advertising and marketing). The Daily Mirror masthead is positioned in the top left corner of the cover and is white with a red background. It is a daily tabloid newspaper which was founded in 1903 rivalling right-wing The Sun newspaper with a left-wing emphasis. The iconic design of the masthead ensures brand recognition. The contrast between a red background and white, bold typography is a confident aesthetic for the paper. The colour red could also be associated with the Labour party. [LANGUAGE/INDUSTRY] The Poppy iconography situates the context of this newspaper edition around Remembrance Day. It is early November, and such an emblem reveals the significance of British patriotism acknowledging soldiers who have battled in war, particularly with reference to WWI. [REPRESENTATION] The Daily Mirror left-wing popular tabloid (owned by Trinity Mirror group) with a circulation of 716,000 a year. Falling sales (due to the advent of online media). This is a post-Leveson Inquiry newspaper issue where the paper is now monitored by IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation). The Daily Mirrors target audience, according to NRS and ABC data are predominantly C2DE, over 35 and are working class Labour supporters.
[INDUSTRY/ AUDIENCE] An additional cover line 7 killed in speeding tram The tagline SHOCK ELECTION crash (including an image of an overturned tram) EDITION is an emphatic USP features in the top right corner of the cover, acting as underlining the severity and a secondary lead to the headline. There is a recurring importance of this daily edition. It theme of disaster on the front cover. These narrative is clear that something about th selections for the front cover eschew an overriding Tuesday 10 November 2016 is sense of chaos. The sub-heading See Pages 14 & 15 historically significant but clearly alerts the reader to content inside to find out more. a time of mourning rather than This appeals to the readers morbid curiosity, where celebration. rubbernecking an accident is a societal norm. The sub[LANGUAGE/INDUSTRY] heading DERAILED is a pun which could be considered poor taste given the context. [LANGUAGE] The background of the anchoring image features the silhouetted landscape of New York, with billowing clouds and emanating smoke. There is a subtle allusions to dystopian tales including The Man in the High Castle (which re-imagines New York under Nazi occupation). The dark clouds have ominous foreshadowing connotations. There is a sense that a Trump presidency will act as an omen for a future sociocultural regression. The artist of this provocative image is Gee Vaucher. This could be perceived as post-modern propaganda with a polemical agenda. [REPRESENTATION] The sub-heading How Trump triumphedand what it means for you and the world applies Barthes enigma code theory in order to encourage the reader to read and deconstruct the papers representations. There is an implicit promise, in this sub-heading, that the Daily Mirror will give you the answers you need with a detailed rundown of Trumps political persuasion and its effect on the US and international populace. The SEE PAGES 2-13 sub-heading reveals the level of importance this article has, reinforcing how Trump as POTUS is a major event (albeit a negative one according to the connotations of the headlines and anchoring image). [REPRESENTATION] The headline Its President Trump features an ellipsis for dramatic effect. This linguistic technique highlights the foreshadowing horror of a Trump presidency, which is reinforced by the anchoring image below the text. [LANGUAGE] The anchoring image of the Statue of Liberty with her hands over her face acts as a form of subversive iconography. This artistic
license used in order to reinterpret New Yorks main monument is a politically motivated attack on Trump. The statue is in mourning, rather than celebrating the news. Whilst such an image would seem jarring on another newspaper, it perfectly suits the Daily Mirrors political agendas. [REPRESENTATION] The headline What have they done? is a deeply emotive rhetorical question emphasising how incredulous the staff and the papers readers will feel about a Trump presidency. [LANGUAGE] KEY THEORIES APPLIED INDUSTRY AND AUDIENCE FOCUS Theoretical Approaches: Power and media industries Curran and Seaton Tension between freedom of the press and an exploitation by the media for pernicious agendas. The Trinity Group have maintained their position in the UK market despite falling sales of the Daily Mirror and other mainstream titles by diversifying into regional news. This diverse pattern of ownership has allowed them to create the conditions for more varied and adventurous media products. Regulation Sonia Livingstone and Peter Lunt The tension between ideology and press regulation. The Trinity Group is facing increasing pressure alongside the rest of the UK press industry to adhere to strict rules and guidelines on industry practice. This has arisen after the phone hacking scandal and subsequent Leveson enquiry into the industry. There is an underlying issue of protecting citizens from harmful material while ensuring choice and press freedom. Cultural Industries David Hesmondhalgh The relationship between industry and audience explored. Trinity Mirror group has become a horizontally integrated company with a wide range of titles in order to maximise audiences and minimise risks. Rather than seeing digital media as a threat the company has embraced its digital expansion and now offers digital marketing as well as digital classifieds to generate additional income. Theoretical Approaches: Cultivation Theory Gerbner Audience exposure to repeated patterns of representation (of Trump and his election campaign) by newspapers may shape and influence their views and opinions. End of Audience Clay Shirky The conceptualisation of audience members as passive consumers is no longer tenable in the age of the internet with the rise of the prosumer who can create their own content such as submitting stories
and being part of forums. Reception Theory - Stuart Hall The Daily Mirror is able to promote a hegemonic dominant reading of its viewpoint on Trumps victory through the use of encoding and decoding, which is fully accepted by the reader. Things to consider (Daily Mirror): - Application of DCE paragraphs convert into comparative paragraph - Trinity Mirror and News Corporation - Stuart Halls Theory on Representation: preferred reading, negotiated reading, oppositional reading - Stuart Halls Reception Theory: hegemonic dominant reading - Ideology of Daily Mirror, Donald Trump and film poster text - Sonia Livingstone and Peter Lunt on Regulation: has the Daily Mirrors front cover breached regulations regarding press freedom with regards to ideological bias and representation of chosen subject - Consider Trumps approach to American identity race, class, gender. - Gerbners Cultivation Theory what patterns of representation regarding race, class, gender, ideology and politics are prevalent in newspapers like the Daily Mirror and Trumps presidency itself? - Shirkys End of Audience are consumers passive or active in their consumption of this media text? Theorists Jean Baudrillard Postmodernism. Roland Barthes - Semiotics. Feminist theory - bell hooks. Paul Gilroy ethnicity and postcolonial theory. Ideology
Context New Orleans backdrop (Hurricane Katrina flooding). Lemonade concept album available on TIDAL whole album music video. Genre Pop, R&B, hip-hop, dance Albums: Destinys Child, Dangerously In Love, BDay, I Am Sasha Fierce, 4, S/T, Lemonade. Musical peers: Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, Nicole Scherzinger, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Shakira, Madonna. Collaborations: Jay-Z, Sean Paul, Shakira, The Weeknd, J Cole, Diplo, Mark Ronson, Missy Elliott, Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar. Starred in Austin Powers in Goldmember, Pink Panther, Dreamgirls, Obsessed, new Lion King. Third wave feminism objectification. Pursuit for racial equality Black Lives Matter, Malcolm X, Black Panthers, counter to US history of slavery, MOBO. Liberal messages and values activism. Mise-en-scene Beyonces Formation Industry and Audience features Record label: Sony Music (one of the Big Six). Time Magazines 2016 Person of the Year. Sold 100 million records, $80 million wealth. Alter ego persona: Sasha Fierce. Fashion line: House of Dereon and Heat fragrance. Endorsements: Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, CSPINET, Emporio Armani, American Express, Nintendo DS, LOreal does philanthropic work. Co-owner of TIDAL (lossless audio and HD videos). Denotation, connotation, effect. Antebellum dresses. Obscene gestures. Figure hugging costume.
Direct address and lip sync. Subversive representations in lyricism and music video aesthetic. Intertextual references SNL Parody The Day Beyonce Turned Black. documentary about bounce called That B.E.A.T. Super Bowl Performance (2016) Marriage to Jay-Z, sister Solange. Modernism philosophical movement transformations of 20th century Western society rejected certainty of Enlightenment thinking and religious belief make it new stream-ofconsciousness novel, abstract art, self-conscious style, experimental form, rejection of realism creative revolution (science, art, technology) power of human beings to create, improve and reshape environment progress and growth emphasised. Post-modernism as cultural production peaked, post-modernism became a new movement that critiqued the modernist era with scepticism, deconstruction and a post-structuralist mode of analysis it is marked by a cyclical return to previous styles but adding new contextual meaning through bricolage. Deconstructing picking apart media to find out the motive and purpose of a product, to the point of abstraction Subversive challenging the conventions of previous media anti-conformist in nature Hybridity the blurred boundary between high culture and popular culture genres blend, sources of influence vary media forms are juxtaposed Hall-of-mirrors/ paradoxical from Eschers drawn architectural illusions, to story-in-a-story-in-a-story narratives to oxymoronic notions such as loving hate ambiguity and illusion reigns in the post-modern world Hierarchies of taste - - Blurring of high and low culture to create new meaning Self-conscious one could argue that post-modern thinking is very narcissistic looking in on oneself, taking one out of an experience and into the theoretical conceptual art for conceptual arts sake (the Emperors
New Clothes effect) Simulacra and Simulation (Baudrillard) - Blurred boundary between the real and imagined - Distinction between media and reality has collapsed - Reality defined by images and representations - This meta-conceptual realm is a form of hyper-reality - Deals with the ambiguity of polar opposites artifice and authenticity Music video and postmodernism - the three minute culture the MTV generation length of peoples attention spans fast editing, intense imagery - Relevant theory: Lyotard/Baudrillard/ Jameson structures of feeling and cultural logic - Guy Debord - Society of the spectacle overly visual culture that pursues high levels of stimulation What is post-modernism? Truth is merely a concept there is no right or wrong, merely interpretations propaganda or taste are the deciding factors regarding which truth prevails at any given time - Sense of reality dominated by media images - Cultural forms can no longer hold up a mirror to reality because reality itself is saturated by advertising, films, TV, video games and print media - Truth claims via images are more problematic thanks to Photoshop technology reality is distorted to either beautify or implicate, sometimes unrealistically - Mediation media reality is the new reality society must mediate between cultural forms in order to decide on the prevailing truth Causality many stories no longer follow a structured cause-and-effect pattern but mess with linearity and consequence some stories decide to subvert the notion of meaning Meta-narratives disjointed narrative structures that play with casuality and
linearity usually associated itself with avant-garde movements Bricolage - fusing two cultures can change its meaning punk socialists (particularly bands like The Clash) would have a very different ethos to swastika sporting neoNazi punks - Iconography can be adapted when combined with icons from another cultural expression, and therefore create a very new meaning The zenith of cultural production culture eats itself everything has been made therefore, culture must remake itself in abstract and cyclical forms of self-reference - Many artistic products are are influenced by its predecessors to the point of parody, homage and intertextuality - anything can be art - Reflection of an alienated society personas and characters are reinvented (ie. Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie) as the pursuit for identity subverts conventions Bell Hooks: From Margin to the Center IDEOLOGY Feminism Mulveys Object of the Male Gaze The male gaze can be traced back to Laura Mulveys essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema published in 1975. In this essay, Mulvey states that women in film are typically objects of the gaze meaning women on screen are seen as the objects of desire. Mulvey believes that film audiences have to view characters from the perspective of a heterosexual male and this is the
reason women are seen more as objects. In the era of classical Hollywood cinema, audiences were encouraged to identify with the protagonist of the film who was usually male. Whereas, Hollywood female characters of the 1950s and 60s were, according to Mulvey, coded with to-be-looked-atness. Miss Representation is a compelling documentary that analyses media representation and pervasive gender discrimination against women. Whether in magazines, films, adverts, TV programmes, newspapers, theatre, and a variety of industries, gender equality is still lacking in these fields. The documentary deals with pay inequality across all industries, disproportionate gender representation in executive positions, the non-consensual sexualisation of women in media, gender stereotyping, exploitative objectification. The semiotics of media representation is aptly deconstructed with a feminist lens. Argues that feminism pays too little attention to race and class and too much attention to middle class. Criticises white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. She addresses topics including the goals of feminist movement, the role of men in feminist struggle, the relevance of pacifism, solidarity and revolution. Hooks is also referred to as intersectionality. Other theorist: Judith Butler, Jean Kilbourne, Elaine Showalter. Straight Outta Compton Factsheet [Page 1] AS Component 1: Investigating the Media A level Component 1: Media Products, Industries and Audiences Subject Content: Media Industries Focus Area: Media contexts PRODUCT CONTEXT Straight Outta Compton is a biopic, produced by Legendary Pictures, distributed by Universal Pictures and directed by F. Gary Gray.
The film follows the story of hip hop band N.W.A. in 1980s America. Members of the band (Ice Cube and Dr. Dre) were co-producers. The film was a huge commercial and critical success, became the highest grossing music biopic of all time, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. PART 1: STARTING POINTS Media Industries Historical Context:The film portrays events set predominantly in mid-1980s California, USA. The depiction of this period in a contemporary film may have been impacted by the social upheaval caused by the racial tension and the LA Riots in 1992 (the portrayal of 1980s California, and the possible glorification of N.W.A. as agents of social change, may have been revised or influenced by subsequent events). Cultural context: N.W.A. were significant in terms of social change as advocates for free speech, producers of protest songs and as highly successful black men from disenfranchised American urban communities. A level Media Studies Fact Sheet N.W.A. were also heavily criticised for their misogynistic lyrics and their promotion of a lifestyle that objectified and marginalised women. Economic and Political Contexts: Two members of the original band N.W.A. co-produced the film, so consider the possible significance of this in relation to funding and to the portrayal of historical events (could this be considered a sanitised attempt to cash in by band members?). Consider the significance of patterns of ownership and control, including conglomerate ownership, vertical integration and diversification: Straight Outta Compton was produced by Legendary Pictures who entered into partnership with Universal Pictures (the films distributor) in 2014. Universal is owned by NBC Universal, a Comcast company. The fact that the film was produced and distributed by a major, vertically integrated film studio that is part of a media conglomerate is significant in terms of funding, possibilities for cross-promotion and reaching a global audience. Consider other releases from Universal/ Legendary? What are they famous for? Might audiences have a perceived sense of quality/expectation? The film was produced by a major studio and co-produced by two members of the band this is significant in terms of the film and its marketing:Consider the politics of the band and the possible perceived glorification of the band as catalyst for social change. It is significant that band members from N.W.A. were co-producers of the film and might be accused of downplaying or sanitising the more problematic aspects of their work (consider the N in the band name and some of their most famous tracks including F*** tha Police which are not referenced explicitly in the films marketing). Straight Outta Compton Factsheet [Page 2] Consider how media organisations maintain, including through marketing, varieties of audiences nationally and globally: There are a number of specific and distinct potential audiences that the film is attempting to target, including:Fans of N.W.A (older fans who lived through the
period, younger fans attracted to the band for their cultural significance etc.) Fans of rap/gangster rap (predominantly American audience or world-wide appeal? Urban dwellers who share experiences with the artists? Middle class youths whose lives are vastly different to the perceived struggles of the artists?) Fans of biopic films (open minded, educated, older, global audience without a specific interest in N.W.A.?) Fans of the film studios/producers (consider previous releases of Legendary/Universal) Rap and the subgenre of gangster rap have specific and well identified fan bases. Consider the ways in which the marketing attempts to both appeal to these existing (and possibly pre-sold) audiences and also transcend the music genre to appeal to a wider film audience. Fans of the genre/ N.W.A. for instance may be attracted to trailer scenes of the band being formed or the music being discussed and recorded but wider audiences may be more interested in scenes of social tension, cultural change or personal drama. Specific examples of the marketing: The trailer Familiar conventions used including duration, green band disclaimer/rating card, use of production logos/idents (possibly establishing status/reputation of film), use of intertitles, use of music, condensing the film to showcase dramatic scenes and establish narrative expectation including a three-act structure, links to social media/website. Also absence of conventions (no traditional trailer voice over, no specific release date). Identification with protagonists in the trailer - audiences encouraged to align with hip hop artists as underdogs/disenfranchised minority, for example, the two specific instances where members of the gang are forcefully restrained by police. Star appeal (including in this case the appeal of the real life characters portrayed on screen and identified using intertitles). The names of actors or directors are absent from the trailer and instead replaced with the real names of some of the members of N.W.A. Film logo explicit design reference to music parental advisory notice (social conventions of rebellion, challenge to authority etc.). Consider the regulatory framework of contemporary media in the UK and the role of regulation in global production, distribution and circulation: The BBFC (an independent, non-governmental body) age rates film and video releases in the UK. However, local councils have the power to overrule BBFC decisions and rate films differently (e.g. This is England was rated 18 by the BBFC but several councils rated it 15). The theatrical release of Straight Outta Compton gained a 15 certificate, although the Directors Cut DVD was an 18. More information can be found at http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ Straight Outta Compton Factsheet [Page 3] The MPAA rates films in America where Straight Outta Compton gained an R rating (restricted - under 17s cannot attend without a parent). Consider global distribution - the film was rated differently in different countries (it was banned in Malaysia for example but gained an 11 rating in Sweden). Age ratings are important to producers and distributors in guaranteeing an audience for example, a 15 rating in the UK opens the film to a much wider audience than an 18 certificate.
Straight Outta Compton was released in Britain on 28 August 2015 and released in the USA on 11 August 2015 (premiere in Los Angeles); see other global release dates: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1398426/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt The film was a major commercial success, making over $200 million it had a $50 million total budget ($28 million production budget). Awards nominations (including for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay) also contributed to its success. Consider processes of production, distribution and circulation and the impact of digitally convergent platforms: Consider how film/film marketing is circulated and distributed:Where and how is film/film marketing most likely to be consumed by audiences? How has this consumption changed/been impacted by the ubiquity of the internet, including YouTube and smartphones? Are audiences now more likely to seek out, for example, new trailers online as active consumers? Consider the significance of economic factors: The pre-sold Hip Hop fan base of the band N.W.A. (the appeal of real-life story and the music itself) might serve to offset the economic risk of the film production. Similarly, the success of other hip hop biopics/music drama films Get Rich or Die Tryin (2005), Notorious (2009), 8 Mile (2002), might help to guarantee an audience for the film. How does this impact the relationship between audience and product? The film was scheduled for release in August 2015. The first trailer was released by Universal on 8 February 2015, with a red band card to reflect the restricted nature of the content (see regulation section above); the trailer included an introduction by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. A second, global trailer was released on 1 April 2015, before the screening of Universals Furious 7. Consider the significance of ownership (vertical integration) here and how Straight Outta Compton might have benefited from being trailed before an arguably more mainstream film with wider audience appeal. Further reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/04/07/why-universal-teasedstraight-outta-compton-with-furious-7-instead-of-jurassic-world/#54f76a1c2a52 Discuss the extent to which the film marketing, such as the trailer, has been constructed to make a profit for the producers. It may be interesting to consider the ways in which elements such as swearing and violence have been either omitted or toned down to offer a broad appeal and ensure the trailer will reach audiences. Economic factors might also consider synergy - both the soundtrack for the film, featuring music by N.W.A. and a Dr Dre album inspired by the film, Compton, were released in conjunction with the film. The commercial success of these albums (e.g. the soundtrack entered the US Billboard 200 album chart at number 2 a week prior to the films release) arguably contributed to the films success. Daily
Mirror American Election (2016) Component 1 Media Products, Industries and Audiences Newspapers Product Context National mid market Tabloid Newspaper established in 1903 and aimed at a predominantly working class readership, it follows a traditionally left wing political stance. This edition was published on the 10th November 2016 following the unprecedented high profile American election campaign which was eventually won by Republican Donald Trump, a 70 year old billionaire famous for appearing on reality TV show The Apprentice USA. The Daily Mirror demonstrated an unequivocally oppositional response to the result and views Trump as ill suited. SECTION A ANALYSING MEDIA LANGUAGE AND REPRESENTATION STARTING POINTS Media Language Cultural Context Donald Trump achieved one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history, despite a series of controversies exposed during the election campaign, his extreme policies that drew criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, a record of racist and sexist behaviour, and a lack of political experience. The contemporary audience could be assumed to be familiar with the codes and conventions of tabloid newspapers and the sensationalized mode of address that these newspapers present. Focus Areas: Media language Representatio
n Media industries Audiences Media contexts FRONT PAGE: The use of American iconography in the subverted image of the Statue of Liberty draws the readers attention to the front page of the newspaper. Here the statue is seen to be weeping into her hands which creates meaning for the audience and is intended to be read as connoting despair. The background of the image contains dark clouds which can be interpreted as foreshadowing future events. The Daily Mirror has juxtaposed the image with the bold headline What have they done? which positions the American voters as to blame for Trumps victory. The bold headline at the top of the page Its President Trump with the use of ellipsis again suggests foreshadowing. AMERICAS BREXIT: This article likens the US election outcome to Brexit by highlighting immigration concerns and loss of jobs as central to voters decision to vote for Trump. The juxtaposition of images of Trumps supporters rejoicing alongside a breakdown of voting according to demographics highlights the newspapers for the audience. The use of these signs by the newspaper suggest that Trump and his supporters belong to a specific cultural group of predominantly white, middle class men. This representation transmits ideas to the reader about inequalities of power and the subordination of certain social groups. SECTION B: UNDERSTANDING MEDIA INDUSTRIES AND AUDIENCES Industry context: The striking image of the weeping Statue of Liberty was created in 1989 by British Artist Gee Vaucher and was chosen by the newspaper to represent their viewpoint on the election outcome.
The newspaper had found the image amongst hundreds of social media memes and contacted the artist for permission to use it. Her painting had originally been used as homage to punk art of the 1970s, known for its antiestablishment messages. The image is an incredibly powerful tool for the newspaper as it takes an iconographic symbol of American idealism and opportunity and subverts it, challenging established beliefs to suit their political agenda. Starting Points Industry The Daily Mirror was first published in 1903 as a newspaper for women to act as a mirror on feminine life. However the newspaper was quickly redesigned to appeal to a broader audience. Owned by the Trinity Mirror group, the Daily Mirror was once the most popular tabloid in the UK. However, it has had the largest year on year fall in sales of any national print newspaper in recent years with a current average daily sales of just 716 000 copies. Online media has largely been responsible for the downturn in print sales and the Daily Mirror has responded to this by launching Mirror Online and having a presence on social media sites. The website offers interactive opportunities for its readers with competitions, polls and a Got a story? feature which invites readers to submit their own stories. After the Trump victory online users were The Trinity group is the largest national and regional multimedia content publisher in the UK, comprising national and regional newsbrands across the country. The group publish more than 150 newspaper titles across the UK and Ireland, from the national presence of the Daily Mirror, the Daily Record, the Sunday Mirror, to local newspapers such as the Manchester Evening News, Bristol Post, Liverpool Echo and
Nottingham Post. The Daily Mirror is part of Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) - an independent body which is not backed by the Government and is fully funded by the industry itself. This is a regulatory body that maintains press standards but is antiLeveson in its approach. Theoretical Approaches: Power and media industries Curran and Seaton The Trinity Group have maintained their position in the UK market despite falling sales of the Daily Mirror and other mainstream titles by diversifying into regional news. This diverse pattern of ownership has allowed them to create the conditions for more varied and adventurous media products. Regulation Sonia Livingstone and Peter Lunt The Trinity Group is facing increasing pressure alongside the rest of the UK press industry to adhere to strict rules and guidelines on industry practice. This has arisen after the phone hacking scandal and subsequent Leveson enquiry into the industry. There is an underlying issue of protecting citizens from harmful material while ensuring choice and press freedom. How do different audience interpretations reflect social, cultural and historical circumstances. Highlighting Trumps intentions for America (building a wall to prevent Mexicans entering the US, scrapping Obamacare etc.) will potentially enrage readers with a left wing political stance. This is furthered by the use of pronouns such as we to suggest the impact that Trumps victory will have on the collective global audience. Cultural Industries David Hesmondhalgh
Trinity Mirror group has become a horizontally integrated company with a wide range of titles in order to maximise audiences and minimise risks. Rather than seeing digital media as a threat the company has embraced its digital expansion and now offers digital marketing as well as digital classifieds to generate additional income. Theoretical Approaches: Cultivation Theory Gerbner Audience exposure to repeated patterns of representation (of Trump and his election campaign) by newspapers may shape and influence their views and opinions. Starting Points: Audience How are audiences grouped and categorised? The Daily Mirrors target audience, according to NRS and ABC data are predominantly C2DE, over 35 and are working class Labour supporters. How audiences interpret the media product. The Trump election win edition will target this group as it highlights his right wing conservatism and attempts to instil fear in the reader through the use of rhetoric and the emotive use of the front page headline. Reception Theory - Stuart Hall The Daily Mirror is able to promote a hegemonic dominant reading of its viewpoint on Trumps victory through the use of encoding and decoding, which is fully accepted by the reader. End of Audience Clay Shirky The conceptualisation of audience members as passive consumers is no longer tenable in the age of the internet with the rise of the prosumer who can create their own content such as submitting stories and being part of forums. Beyonce Formation Factsheet [Page 1]
PRODUCT CONTEXT Formation, lead single for the album Lemonade, was released the day before Beyonc performed at the Super Bowl final in February 2016. The Formation music video, directed by Melina Matsoukas, was released with the song. This music video has won numerous awards including a Clio Award for Innovation and Creative Excellence in a Music Video at the 2016 awards, and has been nominated in the music video category at the 59th Grammy Awards. The video is set against the backdrop of the flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the associated racial tension in America, and also draws historical parallels with references to racism and slavery. PART 1: STARTING POINTS Media language Historical context Explore the flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina to place the video into this context. The racial tensions following the floods (easily accessible through Kanye Wests comments about President George Bush at the time) offer the chance to consider the way in which Beyonc is inviting audiences to interpret historical circumstances. Consider how the combination of elements of media language influences meaning and intertextuality: The music video offers a wealth of (sometimes conflicting/contradictory) messages and possible meanings. Many of the references in the video require an awareness of issues and events (such as the flooding in New Orleans and racial tension in America). The video also requires a high level of media literacy to recognise and understand intertextual references, such as footage taken from a documentary about bounce called That B.E.A.T. and references to news footage of police brutality, such as the lone dancing boy. Consider the ways in which factors in the music video contrast and conflict, and whether this creates a confused meaning in audiences or offers a coherent message. The use of costume is interesting. Antebellum dresses which seem to reference slavery contrast heavily with stereotypical pop signifiers such as tight fitting/revealing costume in some of the dance sections. Similarly Beyoncs performance shifts from moments of aggression such as obscene gestures with her fingers to more culturally recognisable dance routines that seem less loaded with political or social messages. This contrasting use of signs leads to possible readings/meaning of the video:Is it exploring issues of the Black experience in America? Is it a personal exploration of Beyoncs life? Is it attempting to discuss issues of gender and equality? Is it possible for the video to be all of these things? Consider the dynamic and historically relative nature of genre: Beyonc as a performer has worked within a number of different genres (pop, R&B, dance, hip-hop, etc.). These genres are mutable and subject to change and arguably all combine in the genre that is being explored in this music video: bounce. Explore what bounce is and how it relates to Beyonc specifically as a performer and the issues she is exploring in this video/song. Consider the historical significance of MOBO (Music of Black Origin) across these different genres.
Beyonce Formation Factsheet [Page 2] Consider theoretical perspectivesSemiotics Roland Barthes The concept of the signifier/signified, using specific signification in the music video and considering how this might be interpreted according to social convention:For example, the use of antebellum era dresses. Beyonc and a group of other Black women pose in white dresses that appear to reference the antebellum era of American history. Consider the significance of slavery in relation to this sequence and what is being signified. A level only: Postmodernism Jean Baudrillard The video might offer an interesting challenge to Baudrillards ideas that in the modern age of simulacra we are immersed in a world of images which no longer refer to anything real. Explore whether this video is in fact a collection of images that refer very specifically to reality and encourage audiences to consider and discuss these issues. To balance this discussion, consider the video as a sales and promotion tool for Beyoncs career (it was after all released the day before her Super Bowl performance). Is she making valid social comments or instead reducing important issues down to a means to promote her own career and sell records? PART 2: STARTING POINTS Representation Economic and political contexts: In discussions about the various issues of representation in this video, we should not lose sight of the purpose of the music video in relation to finance and profit. The video was released the day before her Super Bowl performance. The combination of this release date and a performance to over 100 million people impacted the global circulation of the video and the financial gain for Beyonc and her collaborators. Candidates might discuss the extent to which the video was designed to promote a political/cultural agenda or to simply generate publicity and make money. Consider the way individuals are represented through a process of selection and construction: As explored in the Media language section above, the video offers a range of different representations relating to race and ethnicity. However, consider also the specific presentation of Beyonc herself. Consider Beyonc the performer as a construct and the ways in which her image is cultivated on screen. Which images/sequences have been selected to construct her on-screen persona? For example, her representation as a person of strength and power:Beyonc frequently makes direct address to the audience by gazing directly at us, she stands in strong, powerful stances at the front of groups (of both men and women), and perhaps most iconic is the image of her on top of the police car. Consider the extent to which this construction of her persona is cultivated to sell records and gain fans, rather than offer any meaningful insight into her personality/beliefs. Consider how media representations convey values, attitudes and beliefs about the world: Whilst Beyonc is offering subversive (or at least politically motivated) comments about race, candidates might be asked to consider ways in which she is reinforcing some attitudes and values in relation to gender: Does the representation of Beyonc in the video reinforce and possibly condone the objectification of women? For example, the dance sections where she wears short/tight or
revealing outfits as well as some of the sexualised lyrics. This might be balanced by looking again at her construction as a strong, powerful figure. Beyonce Formation Factsheet [Page 3] Consider theoretical perspectives: A level only:Feminist theory bell hooks hooks could be used as a stimulus to explore whether the video offers a strong message A level Media Studies Fact Sheet 3 about gender or instead feeds into the oppression of women in a patriarchal society. hooks position that feminism is a struggle to end sexist/patriarchal oppression can be used to ask whether the video is part of that struggle or part of the oppression. Is Beyonc adopting feminism as a lifestyle choice to sell music or has she made a political commitment to feminism? Again, this debate should take in the contrasting and possibly contradictory representations within the video. Theories of ethnicity and postcolonial theory Paul Gilroy Explore the music video in terms of racial hierarchies and binary opposition based on otherness. Consider ways in which the music video challenges racial hierarchy by subverting expectations and placing a black woman in a position of power and dominion, but may perpetuate a sense of binary opposition between races by perpetuating Gilroys sense of otherness and a clear divide based on racial lines.