Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Radiohead and Nirvana

compare and contrast how Nirvana and Radiohead have used digital technology

TV appearances TOTP
publicity stunts
Prolonged live internet

PWYW on own website
Exclusively on they're site
youtube, twitter and spotify
no label

Both Nirvana and Radiohead have used digital technology in different ways to Achieve success in the music industry.
Nirvana real eased their album Nevermind in 1991 and today is one of the biggest selling albums of all time. It is estimated that 30 million copies have been sold worldwide. This is largely because of how the internet has changed and benefited the music industry. The internet has helped to prolong the life of Nevermind after the end of Nirvana. It has also introduced their music to younger generations through sources such as YouTube iTunes and Spotify. The way that Nirvana gained fame before digital technology such as the internet was by TV appearances, like Top Of The Pops and The Jonathan Ross show. On these shows nirvana would perform in outrageous ways or play their less mainstream material, creating a large amount of publicity through social integration.

Radiohead have used digital technology to help increase the amount of they're album sales. Using the internet

Thursday, 3 April 2014


For my production pieces, I created three action film posters that explore the key conventions of the action genre. I created two that adhered to mainstream genre conventions for an action film and one that is intended to promote a more niche film which would possibly be shown in independent cinemas. I took inspiration from a variety of mainstream film posters from both the American and British film industry, Such as 'Casino Royale', 'Harry Brown', 'No Country For Old Men', 'Jumper' and 'Unknown'. What I noticed about these posters is that they are very male dominated and often contain signifiers relating to violence such as guns. Also in most of these posters the subject is shown in a full body shot. Furthermore an iconic backdrop is often used in these posters.

For my first ('Leverage') I decided to adhere to common poster conventions for a big budget action film and explore typical character roles from Propp's character theory. However I have also challenged the way that the classic hero role is represented by the figure in red being shown in low key lighting with extreme shadow, this helps to create the idea of an anti hero. I took influence from various action film posters such as 'Casino Royale', 'Unknown' 'Jumper' and 'Harry Brown'. I did this to appeal to a huge mainstream audience. My target demographic is predominantly male over the age of 15. My poster has no female subjects on it which conveys how the action genre is very male dominated so therefore the classic female character roles may not feature in this film. In the mise en scene of my poster I featured the signifier of a gun which helps immediately connote violence and establish genre. Furthermore the use of the first hand image of the Eiffel tower helps to provide an iconic setting for my action film to place in, an idea I got from 'Jumper'. The way that I have presented the subjects in this poster helps to shown Strauss' theory of binary opposition through the body language. The tagline I have chosen for my poster is an enigma code which will help to intrigue viewers and also show a sense of narrative.

My second production "Merge' is also a mainstream poster which was created to appeal to a wide cine literate audience. My main influence for this poster was 'No Country For Old Men'. Like 'Leverage' this post helps convey a conflict and binary opposition through the use of low key lighting and body language. Also there is no female presence which shows that the film is very masculine. Furthermore this poster has hot fiery image blended into it like in 'The Dark Knight' this is a signifier to a cine literate audience that there will be danger and that this a genre film. The fonts I have used for the credit block and the production company logos in my mainstream posters are very typical to big budget film posters.

For my third poster I have subverted from common mainstream conventions. The film poster that I have created is a niche independent film. There are several features on this poster that indicate how it is not a typical mainstream film. There are awards and quotes displayed on it, awards and quotes are a common devices employed by independent film companies to broaden the size of their demographic. The 'Waking' poster is not riddled with signifiers and obvious mise en scene, which means that the audience will know less about the narrative than for mainstream posters. This suggests that the film may be more a high brow text requiring a more active audience. The company logos used on this poster are companies that back lower budget films. The 'Waking' poster shows a subject who is in high contrast with a lot of shadowing this presents him as an anti hero which brakes the common conventions for a Propp's character roles.

In conclusion I feel that the three production pieces I have generated have been very successful at targeting their target market and appealing to a cine literate audience through various different strong images and signers through the use of mise en scene and fonts. Also I believe that my images relate to the conventions of the genre and instantly inform the preferred audience to the intended themes of my poster.

5 sentences of research
each sentence is the topic of each paragraph
each paragraph explain exactly where you have applied these findings
facts figures terminology quotations media theory
if I've subverted explain how and why.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Discuss the audience appeal of your three main texts.

Half term Homework

Answer the following exam question in 50 minutes. Discuss the audience appeal of your three main texts. [30] This will be graded with written feedback.
Ensure you include a intro which defines all 3 texts, their proffered audience and provide context.
Identify 3 points for each text which discuss appeal/targeting. Link each point to particular types of audiences and discuss gratifications.
Link points to narrative where possible.
Ensure a simplistic and logical structure. Use terminology. Discuss all 3 texts. Use your notes. The A grade exam response section of the blog (see labels) The WJEC revision guide.

Hand in - Tuesday 25th February, 2:25, entry of lesson. 
 My three chosen texts follow many different conventions which help to attract their targets audiences however each of my chosen texts do this in separate ways which causes them to appeal to alternate demographics. 
My three chosen texts are the high-brow AMC Drama Madmen, set in in 60s America, the 2004-2010 Fantasy Drama series Lost and the 2013 BBC post world war 1 series Peaky Blinders.

Throughout Lost there is a score written for the series which helps to appeal to a more mainstream  passive audience. The Music was written for the show by Michael Giacchino. This use of a non-diegetic sound helps to ensure that the audience knows how to react to certain scenes and events easily identifing the preferred reading of the text, resulting in them being gratified. An example of where this is apparent is in Series 1 Episode 2 (Pilot Part 2) where the polar bear is running towards the group of survivors. This helps to enhance the mood and quicken the pace causing the the audience to be anticipating what will happen next. Furthermore the use of scored music also allows the audience to become more passive.
Lost has an Ensemble cast which helps to appeal to a more diverse audience by representing different ideologies through individual characters. If there is a character on the show that certain audiences can relate to then there is more chance of them watching the show than if they feel disconnected from the cast. In Lost we have characters from various nationalities and both strong male and female roles, this helps to establish a links with a more diverse audience. It also enables the show to do full episodes on separate characters drawing the series out longer.
Lost uses a series of enigma codes to keep the audience engaged throughout the series. one example of where an enigma code is used in Series 1 Episode 2 is where the handcuffs are discovered on the island. This occurs directly before an advert break so that the audience will still be engaged and not switch off in the break. Although this was effective throughout the Lost series often the questions surrounding the enigma codes would go unanswered for too long, causing much of Lost's audience to run out of patience and give up watching the show.

Madmen is a niche text which is said to be host to a cult audience. This is due to the fact that the show does not necessarily appeal to a vast mainstream audience because it often challenges the audience to be active rather than passive and also tries to be more artistic than the majority of TV series. Madmen does not often contain much non diegetic sound which gives the show a slower pace than a more mainstream text such as Lost. For example in the closing scene of Series 2 Episode 1 The protagonist Don Draper is reading poetry from a book by Frank O Hara, the editing is at a slow pace and many of the shots are still or barely move. A passive audience would often not enjoy this cinematic style, however this does appeal to a more active niche audience and to the cult fans of the show especially as many of them purchased the book after this Episode was aired.

Madmen also tries to offer a real sense of historical accuracy with the Mise en scene such as the clothes worn by the cast and the offices (drinks at work). Furthermore Madmen portrays 1960s character roles such as the way that women are treated very poorly in comparison to men we can see this in Series 5 episode 11 were the character Joan is asked to sleep with an executive of Jaguar so that the company could secure a deal with them. This negative representation is partly what has narrowed Madmen's audience. Furthermore the show likes to put art before profits. one example of this is where AMC payed a huge amount of money to gain the rights to use a Beatles track in an episode sacrificing thousands of dollars. 

The main character of Madmen is Don Draper who is not a typical protagonist in the way that he is often conflicted and unpredictable meaning that he does not adhere to the common expectations of a standard protagonist. This can make is difficult for a passive audience to connect with him or the show meaning that the target demographic for Madmen decreases. One example of where Don's character does not conform to being a typical protagonist is where he tries to control his wife by not allowing here to for fill her dream of being in a big theatre production. 

Peaky Blinders has wide appeal and attracts a vast audience which consists of both passive and active members, it does this by gratifying viewers is multiple ways. One way that Peaky Blinders gratifies both an active and passive audience is through the use of both a fast and slow pace in editing. We can see this in the scene where Tommy is calming the horse in Episode 2 the pace at which the shot changes is fast at first but then slows to a shot which last quite a while. 

One other way that Peaky Blinders is through the use of modern music in a period text. This helps to modernize the show and keep mainstream audiences gratified without losing the interest of a more active audience. One example of where this happens in the text is where the Peaky Blinders fight the Lea Brother at the beginning whilst Blue Veins by The Raconteurs plays.

Peaky Blinders is very artistic in the way that it is shot and often looks like it was film with a much bigger budget than it had because of the outstanding cinematography, this is an aspect which is not often seen in mainstream text however it is a big contributing factor to the shows popularity along side the narrative and the Post world war one themes/mise en scene.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Peaky Blinders Audience Targeting

Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders is a BBC 2 Historical Period Drama set in post world war 1 Birmingham which focusses on a notorious gang.
One way that the show attracts an audience is by using hollywood stars. This helps widen the appeal because people are familiar with the actors previous filmography. For example Cillian Murphy as the lead role of Thomas Shelby. Cillian Murphy has been in chistopher nolans batman.

Furthermore the show strives to appeal to both an active and passive audience through the use of advanced cinematography. This high brow stylistic technique helps to define the show and entice a wider demographic. one scene which best displays the shows interesting cinematography is in the second episode of the series where the shelby brothers fight the lea family. The fight is shot in slow motion and 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lost 2

The 2004 Television series Lost directed by J J Abrams is a mainstream text that employs various different techniques to increase the shows demographic and appeals to both a passive and an active audience.

One technique that Abrams uses is that of an ensemble cast. This diverse range of characters of different ages, races and ideologies helps to appeal to a larger demographic and engages a more mainstream audience. Furthermore each character of the cast get a more equal amount of screen time which helps keep the show fresh. Also more people can relate to the program.

Another device used to gratify a mainstream audience is the score for that series which is by Michael Giacchino. This non diegetic sound helps to make the viewers passive and creates emotions and mood. Furthermore it helps to add tension to certain scenes.

Furthermore Lost is riddled with Enigma codes which help to keep the audience guessing and interested. Also they are often placed before advert breaks to keep the audience engaged with the text. This will help to gain more revenue for the program.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


I believe that the intended demographic for the Television series Lost is a wide mainstream audience, because of the use of an ensemble cast which helps to appeal to a larger more varied group. This is because different people can relate to certain characters in the series. Also the show conforms to certain stereo types which viewers are familiar with meaning that they can decode characters easier causing them to be gratified. 

Another convention which lost adheres to in order to appeal to a mainstream audience is the employment of propps character theory. An example of this is with the character Jack who is directly called the 'Hero'. This conventional character type is familiar to cine literate audiences and is a common narrative technique. 

Lost appeals mainly to a passive audience with many common techniques to help gratify a large mainstream audience, such as enigma codes. These help to keep the audience interested in the text. Often the enigma codes are directly before advert breaks in order to ensure that the audience remain.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Fish Tank

Clip 4

In this scene Mia dances for Connor in her front room. the majority of this scene is filmed to show how he watches her dance through a scopophilic way through the unnerving slow paced editing. This use of slow editing makes the scene challenging to watch because the camera shot lingers on Mia as she dances for unsettlingly long amount of time to give a sense of intimacy. Furthermore the scene is shot in low key lighting and the only light source is the street lights out side, this use of lighting helps convey the seediness of the scenario and adheres to how social realist films often contain controversial themes, such as paedophilia. This is also later shown by how the camera remains fixed on the two characters rather than looking away like in more mainstream texts, this makes it even more uncon=mfortable to watch for the audience.
In the mise en scene of the living room we can see that one of the walls in the room is decorated with a tropical beach wall paper which conveys that the family wish to escape the area they live in. this is a common convention of the social realist genre.
As she dances Mia is shown as a silhouette, which connotes that she is an object of Connors desire. This is reinforced when the shot cuts to show his point of view. Furthermore women are often shown in social realist films to exist for the men rather than independent. Also it shows how naive Mia is which is also a social realist convention of women.