1. Media content can create stereotypes and/or challenge stereotypes.
a) Describe representations which create and/or challenge stereotypes in media content you have studied. (6)
Game of Thrones is a TV series which focuses on a fantasy world in which there is the typical heroes and heroines. Sometimes the show choses to rely on the stereotype and other times it challenges them to create interesting storyline dynamics.
One character who is wholly stereotyped is Jon Snow. He is a hero and is portrayed as noble and honourable (1). Jon Snow will always do the right thing no matter what it costs him – even losing his life at one point. (1)
Another character who is wholly stereotyped is Ramsey Bolton. Ramsay is seen as a villain. (1) He captures a castle and tortures people. A lot of his actions verge on the psychopathic and he regularly comes out with sarcastic one-liners when threatening his enemies. (1)
A character who challenges a stereotype is Sansa Stark. Sansa is a rape victim (1). Instead of being a ‘broken woman’ who clings to her victimhood and lets it consume her, Sansa seeks justice on her rapist, Ramsay. She leads an army against him and finally executes him, by letting his own ravenous dogs eat him as payback for the torture and rape he put her through. (1)
b) Explain in detail how language features have been used to create and/or challenge stereotypes. (6)
Jon Snow was clearly cast as the hero in the Battle of the Bastards. There is a fantastic shot used to show him standing against Ramsay’s army. The shot is a medium shot showing Jon Snow from behind, raising his sword against a charging cavalry from the opposition. This shows us that Jon Snow is a hero, as even though he is the only man near enough to Ramsay’s army to start fighting, and he had a clear field to run away on, and even though he has lost his horse and is in a weakened position at this point he still stands against the oncoming army.
The language features then use a long shot, still putting Jon Snow in the centre of the image, but this time he is side on. We see that his cavalry has caught up with him and the two armies meet at the point where Jon stands. This gives the shot an epic feel as you see the two horse lines smash into each other. It also reinforces the stereotype of Jon Snow as a hero because his army will do anything for him, and rush to help defend him because they believe in him.
Something else that reinforces the stereotype of Jon Snow here was the use of parallel, non-diegetic music. The music was orchestral and used long, soaring high notes to show us that this was a big battle scene coming and to emphasise Jon Snow as the heroic leader. There was also an element of sad notes to the music which suggested that Jon Snow knew his army was smaller and would probably loose but he was determined to fight for the cause he believed in.
2. Producers of media content must consider internal and external factors.
a) Describe two internal and/or external factors in media content you have studied. (2)
An internal factor that affected the filming of Game of Thrones – Battle of the Bastards was the budget and how this would be spent on things like location, actors fees, extras, stunts and camera crew departments.
An external factor which affected the filming of this episode would have been the BBFC rating. The show is given a rating of 18. This actually means they can include a lot more gore and violence that media texts aimed at lower age groups.
b) Explain in detail how internal and/or external factors have affected media content you have studied. (6)
The Battle of the Bastard had to take place outside and was supposed to look like a battle between Jon Snow’s small army and Ramsay’s much bigger one. The whole series was given a budget of roughly £80 million which averages out at £8 million per episode. However, because this episode had a sweeping battle scene to film taking up at least half the episode it is likely the budget accredited to this episode was bigger.
The location was Ireland, near the studios in Belfast. This meant that they could easily find filming space that was big enough in the country side and that didn’t have any modern technology ruining the shots.
The next thing was to work out how best to use the 500 extras and 70 horses. This meant working out clever camera shots and heavy choreography of the extras to ensure that shots showed a medieval battle. The cavalry charge was supposed to be of hundreds of horses but by using close-ups and medium shots, the production team managed to give the feeling of hundreds of knights charging rather than physically showing it.
Another way the budget was carefully spent was by using CGI later. The crew filmed the 500 extras standing in battle formation to look like an infantry in an extreme long shot. This small group was then duplicated to make it look like a much larger group of men.
They also had to use special equipment for the tracking shots of the horses running. A special 4×4 was rigged up with a suspended camera to get smooth shots of the horses running across the battle field. This was effective as it meant they could still film even though they were on rough terrain and could get the speed right.
The battle scenes used diegetic sound and were specially choreographed so they could be filmed as a single (Smooth) hand-held shot. This gave the viewer a first-person immersive experience of being in battle. The BBFC rating of 18 also meant that the fight scenes could be graphically realistic as an 18 audience (therefore adult) are able to see more accurate representations. This means there is lots of blood and diegetic battle sounds with screaming. This made the battle scene seem real and gave the viewer an experience of battle.
3. Genres are used to attract audiences.
a) Describe the genre conventions of media content you have studied. (8)
Game of thrones is clearly a medieval fantasy TV series. There are many ways in which the episode Battle of the Bastards conformed to the conventions.
The main focus was the battle . Battles are stock parts of fantasy shows as they are where good versus evil and usually good wins. Here Jon Snow battled Ramsay’s army. An extra element of excitement and drama was added as Jon represented good but his army was tiny compared to Ramsay’s and so we weren’t sure if they would win thus creating an enigma code.
Another way that the show conformed to the genre was through the creation of characters. There is a clear hero in this episode – Jon Snow. He is defined as honourable and noble. Even though he is outnumbered, he is willing to fight to the death in order to do the right thing. This is shown through the camera techniques at the start of the battle. A long shot of Jon Snow is shown raising his sword against a charging enemy cavalry. The body language of Jon Snow here shows him raising his sword and making himself big and spreading his legs to take his weight. This is a typical hero pose. It shows us he is ready to take on the fight.
The fantasy element is also very strong in this episode as there is a giant used in the battle called Wun Wun. Giants are stereotypical fantasy creatures and so to include one signalled that this was a fantasy. It gave the battle a more epic feel as well as we watched Wun Wun take out infantry with spears and defend his friends.
Another element was the damsel in distress that was represented by Sansa. Sansa is a tough character with a lot of political power but because she is female and a Lady she is not allowed to fight. She must hold back and let Jon Snow fight for her.
A final thing that made this fantasy was the inclusion of White Knights. This cultural code was used to save the battle. A second army turns up just as Jon Snow’s army is being surrounded and slaughtered. They ride white horses, have super shiny armour and have happy banners to show they will save the day.
b) Explain in detail how these genre conventions would attract one or more audiences (4)
The Damsel in Distress is included to attract audiences as we want to see how her fight goes. Sansa is also important as she is seeking justice against the villain Ramsay for raping her and murdering her little brother. She is particularly appealing to female audiences who appreciate strong female characters.
The hero Jon Snow attracts audiences because he is the typical hero. We are heavily emotionally invested in Jon Snow as a character. He has been through a lot (including returning from death) and we know he is in the right and should win this battle. We watch to confirm that he wins. He appeals to everyone as he is the good guy.
The battle scene is also another big reason we watch the show, particularly male audiences. The budget and hype around this episode was huge and we knew it would be a strong episode in terms of cinematography and narrative. The White Knights at the end, and their nod to the stereotypical cultural code, adds relief and an element of humour to an otherwise serious and heavy battle sequence.
Death Wish is a poster that is clearly designed to inform people that this new film is coming out. There is also a hint that the target audience would be male and probably adult as well.
The poster is in black and white, and sticks to a simple but impactful design. We know it is to inform people of the film coming out as it mentions NOVEMBER at the bottom of the poster. This stands out from the rest of the information (production and actors) that surrounds it as it is in a bigger and bolder font. The November release date suggests that this either being released as part of the Halloween market – and could have some horror elements to it – or that it is part of the winter releases and is setting itself up for award nominations (Award season follows in Jan/Feb) or simply wants to make lots of money from the Christmas boom in cinema ticket sales as people treat themselves to the cinema for Christmas.
The film is called Death Wish, which gives it a cold atmosphere already. The film is clearly associated with death and killing from the use of ‘death’ in its title. There is also blood dripping off the final letter, which emphasises the idea of death in this film. The phrase ‘death wish’ is one that is used often to suggest someone taking risks so we can assume there will be some risk-taking going on in the film. The title is also written in black capital letters which stand out starkly on the pure white background creating a massive contrast. The colour choice becomes apparent when we look at the tag line – ‘they came for his family now he’s coming for them’. There is a sense of justice being sought in this film, the protagonist of the film will be getting vengeance on his enemy. He clearly has a sense of right and wrong, and that could explain the black and white choice for the poster as white often symbolises innocence and black symbolises evil. What is interesting here though is that the main character is the one being depicted in black. Could he be the one doing the evil deeds and going too far in his quest for justice? This brings in an element of the enigma code as we want to know why his family was destroyed and what exactly he is doing in revenge. This all would appeal, particularly to a male audience, as males prefer violent films. It certainly suggests it would be a male audience as some of the violence appears as if it will be quite extreme.
There is also representation going on here as we can see the main character. He has been cleverly put in as the ‘I’ in ‘wish’. He is clearly going somewhere as his feet are moving him forward. His arms are out to the side making him seem big and imposing. It also suggests he is quite muscly and therefore would be able to defend himself in a fight. His hood is up which also suggests that he wants to hide his identity. As a murderer this would be important so the police can’t track him down. He appears to be wearing a leather jacket – typically associated with bad boys of bikers – and signalling to use that he has a hard edge to him. He also carries a chain in his right hand. We can assume this will be used as a weapon. It is a hand-to-hand, close combat choice of weapon which suggests he will be getting close to his victims in order to kill them. The chain also has connotations of brutality if used as a weapon. The deaths in this film will be painful and torturous. The protagonist wants his victims to feel pain.
Further down the page in the production section Bruce Willis is clearly labelled as the protagonist character. WE associate him with high-octane action films where there is violence and a fast paced plot. Those who like Bruce Willis will probably wish to come and see this film.
Overall the film poster clearly promotes the film release and is informing and captivating the target audience. The release date is prominently placed at the bottom of the poster. The black and white styling of the image puts across the serious and death-centred plot. The representation of the main character continues the violent undertones of the film. The mention of Bruce Willis also shows this would appeal to those who like fighting action films. Overall it is a strong attempt at attracting the right target audience of adult males for the film.
Find the Man Down poster that has a big soldier on the front!
The Man Down poster is clearly designed to inform people that a new film is coming out and it is to appeal to the target audience and pull them in to see the film. The target audience would be men, probably aged fifteen or older given the content of the poster.
The first thing that shows the purpose of the poster is the prominently placed release date along the bottom of the poster. The bottom of the poster is quite dark and the writing is in white, which makes it stand out. There is nothing else round about it to distract from the information give. The date is March 31st so this is clearly an Easter film and hopes to make lots of money off of the Easter season when people are likely to visit the cinema for a treat.
Jumping to the title, the film is called Man Down. We know this is a war film as the main image shows a soldier but the title further reinforces this, as the title comes from a military expression for a soldier being hurt in action. The font selected is like a military stencil and it has been used throughout the poster, which reinforces the military theme of the film. It is clearly going to be an action film with a military plot-line. The title also hints at the narrative. We can guess that the plot will be about a group of soldiers, one will become hurt and the others will then rally round to save him. This would follow Todorov’s theory of balance moving to imbalance and back to balance. There may also be an element of Levi-Strauss here as the soldiers will probably represent good and there will be an enemy they fight representing bad. The focus on a male group of characters and the idea that they are fighting in a war would identify the target audience as adult males who could handle seeing the horrors of war portrayed.
The film requires no tag line to reel in its audience as the title is already clear enough – Man Down – there is someone needing rescued. The enigma code is introduced here as we wonder what has happened to cause a man to be injured and how his team will rescue him. This attracts the target audience because it makes the story intriguing.
The image is also going to attract an audience. There is a long shot of the main character in army fatigues, wearing a helmet and carrying a gun. He is made to seem powerful and in charge as he faces us head on, and has his feet spread wide. His arms are open to carry his gun broadening his shoulders. He looks like a man on a mission. The colours on the image are also predominantly green and blue which are seen as boyish colours, again making this seem like a ‘colder’ film. In the background we can see other soldiers sprinting, and the smoke from grenades being launched, there is also a cluster of planes in the top left corner of the poster. All of this suggests high action and drama in the middle of a battle scene. There are yellow bullet or missile streaks which also heighten this feeling of high-action and the middle of a war feel. Pinned over the whole thing is a cross-hair which suggests the man may be a target who will be brought down. Again all of this appeals to a male audience as it has a high octane feel to it.
Finally, there are a number of actors mentioned, in a prominent central position beneath the title. Shia La Bouf is clearly the main character but people like Gary Oldman are also mentioned. The cast is pretty strong, with a number of famous and well-regarded Hollywood actors appearing. This would appeal to people as they might like these actors for other works and want to see them in a new work.
10 Marker question on The Revenant movie poster:
The Revenant poster is clearly supposed to inform us of the release date of a new film which will entertain people by telling a serious story. From the poster, I would think that the target audience would be older people and those who like dramas or real stories as this is what the story looks like it will be.
There is a release date in the bottom right corner telling us it will be released on the 8 January. The majority of the poster is whites and greys. The date has been made to stand out by using a dark red for the font. The contrast in colour draws our attention to the release date. It also seems like a suitable release time as it is a winter date and this is clearly a story set in the winter as we can see lots of snow in the background.
The serious tone of the film is given in the title of the film. It is called ‘The Revenant’ which literally means someone who returns from the dead. This suggests that the narrative will be about someone who was believed to be dead coming back to do something. This would fit with Todorov’s theory of things becoming unbalanced then righting themselves by the end of the story.
The seriousness of the subject matter is also exemplified in the title font. The bottom half of the poster is near-black and the font is white. They may have chosen this because ghosts are white and this is someone coming back from the dead – like a ghost. Also the font is in capital letters making it seem sterner.
The tag line is similarly serious-looking with the same font being used. It says ‘blood lost. Life found.’ This again suggests that there is a problem in the film to be resolved, someone may have been betrayed or had someone taken from them. The ‘Life found’ suggests that things right themselves in the end. It gives the poster a high drama feel and again shows that a more mature and serious audience would find this appealing as the story is more realistic.
The poster also tells us that the story was ‘inspired by true events’. The font size here is the same as the tag line which gives it equal weight with the tag-line. The marketers think it is important that you know this is based on a real story. Again this might make it more appealing to those who like dramas as now they know the narrative is something that actually happened. This gives the storyline a greater intensity as we now know that what we will watch actually happened to someone.
Representation of the main character is also given. We can assume that this is ‘the revenant’. We see a man in extreme close-up against an extreme wintery background. The man has an intense look in his eye suggesting he is set on a task – perhaps to fix the betrayal that killed him? This also brings in the enigma code as we wonder what has happened to him? Who has killed him and what must he fix? He also has bruises which tells us he has been hurt and the ice in his beard suggests he has been in the wilderness for quite some time. Furthermore there is strange series of red lines on the top left side. This looks like shooting fire embers or veins. This could suggest a winter fire for warmth or be a metaphor for the fire for vengeance inside the revenant. If it supposed to be veins then it would represent his return to life. Again all of this suggests that this is a serious protagonist with a set cause. This would all appeal to the target audience as it has clearly established a feel of drama and purpose.
A final point to make about the poster is the names included along the top. The actors Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy are listed. Di Caprio is the character in the poster. He is playing the protagonist. We can assume that Tom Hardy will also be a main character either as the enemy that Di Caprio fights or as a helper in Di Caprio’s cause. These are two massive actors who are famous for their good looks making them appeal to a predominantly female audience and they have gained acclaim for acting in serious roles and action roles. This would make the film appeal to a wide audience as we know that the film will be a strong serious piece as these are men who take their acting roles seriously.
On google type in Colossal and find the movie poster featuring the two main characters backed by the monsters. The answer below is in response to Section 2 of the National 5 Media paper but with a different poster. We’ll keep working on these by swapping out the poster…
The movie poster is clearly designed to inform people that the film Colossal will be released soon. It is appealing to an indie audience as the poster looks very artsy and plays on 80’s designs. It also looks like it could have a fantasy/sci-fi element because of the supporting characters of monster robots behind the primary characters.
The first thing we are drawn to is the text of the title. It is written in pink neon writing and looks like a road sign. The lettering is also very game-ish with letters that look pacman or simplified shapes – pacman for ‘c’ and a triangle for ‘A’. This shows that the film will have a fun quirky element to it. The pink could also suggest that the film will be focused on a female character as it is pink, but the word choice of ‘colossal’ for the title suggests that the storyline will be quite tough and epic. This suggests that the target audience would be those who like indie movies, possibly with a leaning towards females more than males.
The second thing we notice is the monsters themselves that take up the back third of the image. There are two of them and they are very large and imposing. They do not look ready to fight but they certainly look dangerous – one has glowing yellow eyes and the other is more robotic and metallic in appearance. This suggests that there could be drama or action in the film but it is not solely focused on this as the ‘monsters’ are in a relaxed position. This again suggests the target audience as being an indie one as it suggests an alternative monster-themed action film or sci-fi.
The narrative and representation are also hinted at in the poster. We can see clearly Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudekis’ character in the middle of the poster. They are facing away from each other which could suggest there is a conflict between them. Conversely, the fact that they are almost back to back could also suggest that they are a team fighting the world together and have each other covered. This creates a bit of an enigma code as we wonder what the relationship between them is. For those who like romance there is also the possibility that there is a love story between these two characters as they are male and female. Both the characters seem quite tough and alternative because of what they are wearing – she is in leather and has a heavy fringe, he has a beard and is wearing a denim jacket. This makes them look a little hipster-ish. This element of the poster would make the film appeal to a young hip audience who like indie films as this looks like an interesting story and the main characters look relatable to their target audience.
In terms of narrative this looks like it is a medium shot taken half-way through the story. There is clearly a build up to some form of imbalance (Todorov’s theory). The human character’s actions are being mirrored by their monsters. This suggests that the monsters are going to be controlled in some way by their human’s to do something. This would appeal to an audience as they are intrigued as to what is really going on. How were the monsters made? And what will they be used for?
The background colour is a pink blurring into a deep purple with stars twinkling across it. Tied to the fact that the poster is a photo that has then been made to look like a number painting, it actually gives the poster a soft feel to it. This again makes us think that although the film seems to be aimed at both sexes it might appeal more to a female one purely because of this softer aesthetic. It might also have been done to balance out the much more masculine appearance of the monsters in the background.