GWL7 Assignment

GWL7 Assignment

DeclanTyldesley
GWL7 Assignment
WithinthisassignmentIamgoingto discusshow demographicaudiencesengagewithaspecific genre of film
with thorough film examples taken from the thriller film genre. In order to prove this I am going to apply
three different theories to my chosen films which are; Uses & Gratifications theory, Reception theory and
Lacey’srepertoire of elements. Genre isimportantforbothfilmproducersandfilmaudiencesasitallows film
producers to engage with their demographic audience whilst they remain interested and intrigued in the
genre, so when the film is finally released they will go to watch it and gain some form of ‘pleasure’ and
‘reading’. In addition, film producers can also enhance an audiences understanding within the marketing
aspect. A film’smarketingcampaignshouldenhance the audiencesunderstanding of the film because within
the campaign they’ll more than likely leave elliptical elements which relate to the narrative and characters
encoded. Whenaudiencesgotowatch a particular film there always seems to be a large debate focusing on
whetheraudiencesare individual,active spectatorsorpassive spectators (HypodermicNeedleModel theory).
In reference tothe usesandgratificationstheory,whenaudiences leave the circumstance of exhibition they
will have either one or more of these four different pleasures; diversion, personal relationship, personal
identity or surveillance.
The filmgenre whichIhave selectedisthe thriller film genre; I selected this genre because I enjoy watching
these typesof films.The filmswhich I am going to are; Taken (Morel, 2008), London Has Fallen (Najafi, 2016)
and Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013).
The filmTaken was directedbythe French film director Pierre Morel and released in the year 2008 with a 15
age rating. The filmdirectorPierre Morel before thisfilm was known for directing the film District 13 (Morel,
2004). The production companies which supported these films were; Canal+ and EuropaCorp. The stars
include;Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills), Maggie Grace (Kim) and Famke Janssen (Lenore). I believe the film star
Liam Neesonwouldhave attracted a broad target audience as he has starred in films such as; Schindler’s List
(Spielberg,1993) and Star Wars:EpisodeI – The PhantomMenace(Lucas,1999). The plotof thisfilmstates;‘A
retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has
been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris’.
In contrast,the film London HasFallen was directedbySwedishthe filmdirectorBabakNajafi andreleased in
the year 2016 witha 15 age rating. The filmdirectorBabakNajafi was known for directing the two films Easy
Money II (Najafi, 2012) and Sebbe (Najafi, 2010). The production companies which supported these films
were; NU Image and Millennium Films. These production companies which supported the film London Has
Fallen bothoperate withinNorthAmericatherefore; they will be able to attract a broad demographic target
audience.The stars for the film London Has Fallen included Gerard Butler (Mike Banning), Morgan Freeman
(SpeakerTrumbull) and Aaron Eckhart (President Benjamin Asher). I believe, the actor Gerard Butler would
have attracted a broad target audience because he has starred in films such as; 300 (Snyder, 2006) and Law
Abiding Citizen (Gray, 2009). The plot of this film states; ‘In London for the Prime Ministers funeral, Mike
Banning discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders’.
The filmPrisoners wasdirectedbythe Frenchand CanadianfilmdirectorDenisVilleneuve andreleasedin the
year 2013 with a 15 age rating. This particular film director is also known for directing the two films Enemy
(Villeneuve, 2013) and Incendies (Villeneuve, 2010). The production company which supported the film
Prisoners was Alcon Entertainment. This production company operates fully in America therefore; this
companywas useful asthe film Prisoners wasfilmedprominentlywithinthe Georgia state. The stars include;
Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano. I believe the film star Hugh Jackman would have attracted a
broad targetaudience ashe has starredin Hollywoodblockbusters such as; X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Hood,
2009) andLes Misérables (Hooper,2012). The plotof the film Prisoners states;WhenKellerDover’s(Jackman)
daughterandher friendgomissing,he takesmatters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads
and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
DeclanTyldesley
The reception theory was conducted by Stuart Hall. Within this particular theory Hall focused on the
relationshipbetweenthe textandthe audience throughout encoding and decoding model. The ‘text’ within
films is encoded by the film producers and it is then decoded by their audience and there are also major
differencesbetweentwodifferentreadingsof the same code.Thisimpliesthatthe films‘text’isnotpassively
accepted by the audience, but the reception theory focuses on individual circumstances and how they can
affect an individual’s reading of a film. Additionally, within the theory there are three different types of
readingwhichare;preferred,negotiatedandoppositional.If anaudience member leavesthe circumstance of
exhibitionwithapreferredreading,theywouldhave readthe film in an enjoyable and expectant way which
the producer intended it to be read. For example, when I watched the comedy, action and adventure film
Ride Along 2 (Story,2016) I readthe filmina preferredreadingand this could have been affected due to the
contextual factors stated within the theory. The contextual factors within the reception theory are the;
elements of the viewer’s identity, circumstances of exhibition, the spectators preconceived notions
concerning the films genre and production, and the social, historical and political issues. I believe the
contextual factorwhichaffectedmyreadingthe mostwasthe elements of my identity as this particular film
attracts my demographic social group (D). I also think the circumstances of exhibition can affect an
individual’sreadingbecauseif theywere watchingafilmacademicallytheywouldhave adifferent reading of
the filmas opposed toan individual whoiswatchingthe filminthe cinema. Thesetwodifferentpeople would
have readthe filmdifferentlybecause astudentwill knowwhattolookforin the filmsuch as; mise en scene,
cinematography and meaning whereas; as the person in the cinema may not. To conclude, I thoroughly
believe each contextual factor discussed by Stuart Hall in theory can affect an individual’s reading of a film
substantially.Forexample,Ibelieveif afemale wouldhave watched the film The Accused (Kaplan, 1988) she
wouldhave hada much differentreadingincomparisontoamale because withinthe film it includes a scene
when the character Sarah Tobias is raped brutally by three men. She would have read it differently in
comparisontoa male because she will be able toidentifywithinthe characterSarah Tobias therefore;she will
be heavily disturbed and read the film in a different manor as a male will not be able to identify with the
female character.
In reference tothe three filmswhichIselectedoutof the thrillerfilmgenre, I believe I ‘read’ each individual
film slightly different substantially due to the contextual factors stated within theory. When I finished
watchingthe film Taken Ileftmylivingroomwitha preferredreadingof the filmdue tothe contextual factors
such as the circumstance of exhibition. I might have had developed this reading due to the circumstance of
exhibitionasIwas muchmore comfortable therefore,allowingme torelax andwatch the film in full context.
Therefore, I think if I was watching this film in a classroom for academic reasons I would have developed a
differentreadingof the film.Ialsothinkmydemographical identify could have had an impact on my reading
of the filmbecause asIam categorized withinthe Dgroupon the demographical scale I mightbe offended by
certainaspectsthat relate to my identity but if a person within the B group watched this film they wouldn’t
be as offended asthe film doesn’t relate to them. Due to this fact, I therefore thoroughly believe I adhered
substantially towards this particular film. However, I believe if a parent was to watch this specific film they
would more than likely develop a preferred reading as they will be intrigued to demonstrate the same
behaviorthatBryan didto rescue theirchild. In addition, the film Taken also uses a social and political issue
whichfocusesonAlbanianstraffickinggirlsforsex sotheycanuse themas sex slaves. This on the other hand
might have also affected a parents reading substantially as they may become worried about their daughter
travelling by themselves with one or two friends.
In contrast, another thriller film which I ‘read’ in a preferred reading was the film Prisoners. Once again as I
am categorizedintothe Dgroup on the social scale thisfilmonthe otherhand adheredtome substantiallyas
it prominently included scenes of violence. Also throughout the film there was an effective enigma code
which was never dropped therefore, I was intrigued to continue watching. In addition, this film was also
viewed by me in my living room so this once again me to watch the film comfortably and without stress. In
addition, I once again believe that parents would have had a different reading as a pose to me as the film
portrays to girls being kidnapped who come from two different families. As the film focuses on this highly
social and political subject I think parents who have daughters would have developed a negotiated or
DeclanTyldesley
oppositionalreading.Ithinktheywouldhave developed either of these readings because they’ll personally
see themselvesonscreenfightingfortheirdaughterandcommittingsome of the crimeswhichthe characters
withinthe filmcommit.Therefore,Ibelieve certain demographics would have had substantial preconceived
notions concerning this film prominently due to its production device.
Finally, the thriller film London Has Fallen used social and political issues as their production device which
mighthave changedan individual’sreadingof thisparticularfilm.Forexample,the filmshowedlarge terrorist
attacks which took place in London somewhere that still hasn’t been hit by the Islamic State therefore; the
audience might develop an insight to what it might be like if they do so. As the film shows London in
corruption and deficit I think the majority of demographics who went to watch this film would have had
substantiallylarge preconceivednotions of Londonbeingblownup if theywere living in Britain. Due to these
facts, I happened to read the film in a preferred reading as the film made me worry and think about events
whichcould take place in London which the producers intended to do. This reading was also pushed due to
recentIslamicState attacksin BrusselsandParisto veryhighlypopulatedcities.Inaddition, I also believe my
demographical identity could have had a large impact on my reading as I have a thorough knowledge on
recentIslamicState attacks. Whereas, someone else possibly much younger might not therefore, they may
‘read’ the film in a preferred reading. I also happened to watch this film within the cinema therefore; a
completely different atmosphere was developed in comparison to my living room. This circumstance of
exhibition on the other hand made the atmosphere much more intense due to the large speakers and big
screen.Inconclusion,Ithoroughlybelieve each demographic would have developed a completely different
reading of all three of these films based on their contextual factors.
Two theorists named Blumler and Katz are the advocates of the Uses & Gratifications theory, which heavily
statesthat audience profilesare individual,active spectatorswho question the media text(s) they consume.
An aspect of the Uses & Gratifications theory also states individuals watch films for different reasons and
pleasures. Blumler and Katz stated that there are four main film pleasures which are Diversion, Personal
Relationships,Personal Identity and Surveillance. The diversion film pleasure is perhaps the most common
reasonto whyaudienceschoose towatch films. They choose to receive this pleasure by watching films as it
takesthemout of the realityof theirownlivesandremovesall of theircurrentproblemsastheyare placedin
context. As this is the most common film pleasure Hollywood blockbuster films such as Deadpool (Miller,
2016) try to extract audience profiles out of their everyday lives so they can enjoy the film and not have to
worryabout anything.Byusingthisfilmpleasure,the film will more than likely distribute a positive word of
mouthout to the demographical public.The personal relationshipsfilmpleasure usesthe media prominently
for emotional interaction.Some people tend to watch films which use this pleasure as a substitute for their
own‘personal relationships’therefore,people might go to watch a romantic, comedy film as they are single
and theywantto feel like theyare inarelationship.Alsosome demographics might go to watch a film which
focuses, around a group of friends so they can feel like they are a part of that group. For example, a f ilm
which gives this pleasure is The Goonies (Donner, 1985).
In addition,the personal identitypleasure is when an individual spectator finds themselves reflected in the
textencodedsofromthistheymightlearnbehaviorandvaluesfromthe textsencoded.Due to this, multiple
people maywatcha filmforreasonson personal identity.BlumlerandKatz also stated that personal identity
doesn’thave tobe reflectedonly on a specific character, it can be based on a certain subculture or lifestyle.
For example,people who smoke will prominently go to watch a stoner comedy as they will see a reflection
within certain characters followed by their general, everyday lifestyle. An example, of a current stoner
comedyfilmis;American Ultra (Nourizadeh,2015).Finally,the surveillance pleasure uses information which
could be useful for living. Due to this, these films are very educational and prominently come under the
documentaryandbiographical genre.Forexample,whenIwatchedthe film Blackfish (Cowperthwaite,2013) I
received surveillanceas itgave me a thorough knowledge on what was happening to the orcas in SeaWorld.
In contrast, when I watch a particular thriller film I gain multiple film pleasures by the end of the film. One
dominantpleasure whichItendto receive when I watch thriller films is the diversion film pleasure as these
DeclanTyldesley
types of films extract me out of my everyday life and problems by placing me in a diverse world and
environment.Due to this fact, I therefore adhere substantially to this genre of film as it takes me out of my
everydaylife byidentifyingtoacharacter. In addition,whenwatchingthrillerfilmsIalsosometimesdevelopa
personal identityfilmpleasure aswithin some thrillerfilms such as Prisoners although I am not a parent I can
see myself reflected on what I would do to protect my daughter. I could see myself reflected in this film
because the directorDenisVilleneuve reaches so many demographics by showing them how far they would
go to save their daughter in the future, if anything like this ever took place. As opposed to myself I also
thoroughly believe that other audience profiles will develop other film pleasures by watching particular
thrillerfilms. For example, some demographics might watch a thriller film which focuses on political issues
that they don’t have a thorough knowledge upon. Therefore, if they were to watch a thriller film which
surroundedapolitical issue theywill developasurveillance filmpleasure,asthe film will thoroughly educate
them about that uprising, political issue. For example, a film which might have allowed an audience to
develop more knowledge isafilmnamed London Has Fallen. In addition, I am attracted to the thriller genre,
because Ienjoywatchingall of the effective film conventions on screen such as low key lighting, as they are
able to make the atmosphere much more intense. I am also attracted to these films because I enjoy the
storyline asitmainlyincludesatwist.Thrillerfilmsalsotendtohave large Hollywoodactorswithinthe filmso
they can attract a bigger audience therefore; I enjoy thriller films much more because of the stars. For
example,anupcomingthrillerfilm namedJason Bourne (Greengrass, 2016) stars Matt Damon a substantially
established actor within the industry. To conclude, I am also attracted to watch these types of films as I
believe the thriller genre is a mixture between the action and horror genre.
Anotherwayinwhichwe can analyze filmsisthroughoutNickLacey’srepertoire of elements which provides
us withan insightintowhyaudienceswatchaparticulargenre.NickLaceybelieved that if we split a film into
five different categories we would be able to place a film into a certain genre as it will hold multiple
similarities. Within his book Narrative and Genre: Key Concepts in Media Studies Nick Lacey stated five key
areas; setting, characters, narrative events, iconography and the style (technical and audio codes).
Withinthe thrillerfilmgenre,filmproducers tend to use specific and conventional settings which adhere to
theirtargetaudience.Some settingswhichtheytendtouse whenfilmingare substantiallypopulatedcities,as
we receive astrongfeelingthatinnocentpeople are going to die. Also settings such as this build tension, as
the antagonist is much harder to find in city capitals. For example, the film London Has Fallen was set in
predominantlyinLondonasall of the world’spresidential leaders were meeting here due to the early death
of the British Prime Minister. I think the London setting was also used effectively in the film because the
world’smostpowerful leaderswere quite obviouslyoverexposed.Incomparison,the thriller film Taken also
useda large capital city as theirsettingwhichwas Paris. Once again, I thoroughly believe the film producers
usedthissettingeffectively as they followed a political issue which surrounds Albanians trafficking girls for
sex within European countries. Despite these facts, the thriller film Prisoners decided to set their film
prominentlywithinahousingestate inAtlanta,Georgiawhere familiesmightlive.Therefore, this thriller film
on the other hand shifted away from thriller film genre conventions; but it was still used effectively as the
settingwasrelatable towardsaparticulartargetaudience.Toconclude,Ithoroughlybelieve the thriller films
have quite a lot of flexibility when choosing an effective setting as long as it matches an aspe ct of their
metaphorically opaque storyline, as you don’t know who committed the crime until the end of the film.
The characters withinthrillerfilmsprominently demonstrate aggressive and reluctant behavior as they’ll be
tryingto findthe antagonistora particularfamilymember.The characterswithinthrillerfilmsalsotend to be
veryformal as theymightworkfor the FBI or securityservices.However,althoughthe protagonistmightwork
for a formal company they tend to look just like an average person therefore, they are made relatable
towards a certain demographic target audience. In addition, another way in which film producers build
tensionisbygivingtheirprotagonistafamily.If theydothisthe audience will startto worry about if they will
make it back to their family. For example, within the thriller film London Has Fallen the character Mike
Banning portrayed by Gerard Butler leaves his family behind so he can go to London to protect President
BenjaminAsherportrayed by Aaron Eckhart. On the other hand, the character Mike Banning adhered to the
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thriller film genre conventions as they made him formal, vicious when needed, and they also gave him a
family.Incomparison,the film Prisoners prominentlyfocused on the character named Keller Dover who was
portrayedbyHugh Jackman.Thischaracter adheredto conventionsashe demonstratedmaliciousandvicious
behavior as he savagely beat the character Alex Jones (Paul Dano) until an inch of his life. In conclusion, I
believe that the majority of thriller film protagonists need to be relatable towards a certain demographic
target audience, as the narrative event might make a certain audience worried as they can relate to the
character encoded.
In additionthrillerfilmsholdsimilarities within the narrative structure and events which take place. Thriller
filmswithinthe 21st
centurytendto follow alinear narrative structure, as I believe they are trying to comply
withTzvetanTodorov’sfive actstructure theory.Ibelieve if filmproducerscomply withphilosopher’stheoryI
thinkthey’ll be able tocreate a substantiallyintense climax. Tzvetan stated five different acts which were; a
state of equilibrium,adisruption of the ordered state by an event, a recognition that a disruption has taken
place,an attempttorepairthe damage of the disruptionanda returnto some kindof equilibrium. However,
despite thisconventional structure some thrillerfilms also tend to use a substantial amount of flashbacks so
they can develop a characters background and by doing this the audience should understand why certain
characters demonstrate particular behavior. In addition, within thriller films the narrative events tend to
consist of a detective hunting for a serial killer or family member. For example, the thriller film Taken
followedalinearnarrative withnousage of flashbacksdespite thisfact;the film Taken onthe other hand still
gave us an insight into Bryan Mills (Liam Nesson) past with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). In addition,
within this film the main narrative was Bryan Mills hunting for his daughter Kim as she was kidnapped by
Albanianswhotrafficgirlsforsex inEuropeancountriestherefore,inreference tothe theoryhe isattempting
‘to repair the damage of the disruption’. In comparison, the film Prisoners followed very similar narrative
structuresand events,asitfollowedalinearnarrative withno usage flashbacks. In terms of narrative events
the film focused on the character Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) as he tried to find his daughter Anna Dover
(ErinGerasimovich) who was kidnapped by someone unknown. To conclude, I believe the narrative events
within each of these films created a large semiotic meaning which could be useful towards parents as it
implied them to watch their children as the topics within these films are possible.
The iconography within thriller films is generally quite broad, as thriller
films can include aspects such as; police, weapons, shadows, confined
spaces and low key lighting. As thriller films include aspects such as this
send heavy connotations of violence, death and darkness. By sending
connotations like this, they’ll be able to substantially appeal to their
demographictargetaudience byfollowingthrillerfilmgenre conventions.
In addition, I also believe thriller film iconography can also make certain
target audiencesdisturbedastheymightnotlike the sight of blood and aggression. For example, within the
filmPrisoners the directordecidedto show a lot of violent iconography such as a; hammer, knives and guns.
In addition,the film director also showed the character Alex Jones in a lot of pain as to Keller Dover he was
the prime subjectandhe knewwhere hisdaughter was. I also thoroughly believe that their audience would
have been slightly disturbed as they might be starting to wonder how far Keller Dover will go to find his
daughter. For evidence,please viewthe image above.Incomparison,the mainstream filmLondon Has Fallen
prominently shows police iconography as the world’s most powerful leaders are meetings. This usage of
iconographyonthe otherhand wouldhave made theiraudience feelsafe andsecure as it seems nothing bad
can happen therefore, I thoroughly believe this aspect appealed to their demographic target audience. As
opposed tothe filmPrisoners I believe the iconography in this film was much more formal and professional
whereas; the other film icons people who seem to have no idea at what they are getting into. In addition, I
thinkeachof these filmsportrayedastrongand life changing meaning throughout the usage of iconography
as each of the films portrayed how far a parent would go to protect the ones they love. In conclusion, I
believeeachthrillerfilmholdssome similaritiesintermsof iconographyastheybuildtension at a substantial
speed up until the climax.
DeclanTyldesley
Finally, thriller films tend to use particular technical and audio styles
whichadhere tothe genres conventions. In reference to a thriller films
technical styles they mainly demonstrate broad cinematography
techniquesrangingfromslowtofastcameramovements.These specific
camera techniquesportrayveryemotional,intensifyinganddarkscenes.
In addition, a conventional camera range which directors use within
thrillerfilmsisaclose upshot;as this the audience to view a character’s
emotions. By allowing audiences to see characters like this the film director will be able to give the films
audience anemotional response therefore,makingscenesmuchmore intense. For example, within the film
Taken the filmdirectorPierre Morel usedaclose up shotwhenBryanMills was torturing one of the Albanian
kidnappersthroughthe usage of electricity.Forevidence,pleaseview the image above.Inaddition,whenthe
films audience were decoding the text in their circumstance of exhibition they would have been able to
clearlytell howthe characterBryan Millswasfeelingatthismomentof time.Inmyopinion,bylooking at this
image I can tell the character Bryan Mills is incredibly distressed and troubled due to his facial expression
whichI can viewinthoroughdetail because of the technical style. Additionally, in terms of the audio thriller
filmstendtouse;diegeticandnon-diegetic. Forexample, within thriller films they tend to use intense non-
diegeticmusicwhichconsistsof pianosandviolins. Withinthe thrillerfilm Prisoners, theydecidedtouse both
stylesof audio.Forexample,whenthe characterKellerDoverfollowedAlexJonesdownthe street as he sang
a song whichthe twogirlswere singingthe nightbefore theywentmissing,the directordecidedtouse anon-
diegetic piece of music which gradually went to a higher tempo as he got closer and closer. This was used
effectivelywithinthe filmbecause whenKellerfinallystoppedAlex he lookedin shockanddespairashe knew
he was goingto be attacked.Finally,the filmdirectoruseddiegeticsoundsof breathingandpainforexample,
whenAlex Joneswasbeingburnt to death from the heat of the shower as he was trapped in a wooden box.
Thison the otherhand, made the filmmuch more intense because personally I started to feel some form of
sympathyforthe character as he wasalmostdeadand he alsohas an IQ of a ten-year-oldtherefore,makingit
hard for himto communicate.Toconclude,Ibelieve the technical and audio codes within my chosen thriller
filmswere usedeffectively as they allowed their audiences to receive powerful and life-changing semiotic
messages especially within the film Prisoners.
Intertextuality is when another media product references to another media text. When I was watching my
three chosenthrillerfilmsIwasable tofindone formof intertextuality.The thriller film London Has Fallen in
terms of intertextuality made reference to characters within the films prequel Olympus Has Fallen (Fuqua,
2013). Filmssuchas Pulp Fiction usedheavyamountsof intertextuality as they made reference to films such
as; The Seven Year Itch (Wilder, 1955), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974) and Psycho (Hitchcock,
1960). In evidence, Quentin Tarantino made reference to the film Psycho, when Butch was waiting at the
crossroads in his car, until he was passed by Marcellus Wallace; this replicated a very similar scene from
Psycho when Marion Crane sees her boss walk in front of her car when having stolen $40,000 from him.
Medialiteracyisthe abilitytoaccess,analyse,evaluateandcreate mediain various amounts of forms; it also
manages to build an understanding of the role of media in society. Media literacy is also an effective and
engaging way to apply critical thinking skills to a wide range of upcoming issues. Media literacy also allows
demographicaudienceprofilestofindout more information about the film before or after they go to watch
the film at their circumstance of exhibition. For example, they can find out information about the film by
looking at fandom, interactivity and social networking sites (Web 2.0). In addition, once I had finished
watching my three chosen thriller films I went to multiple different sources to find out more information
aboutthe filmsasI wasintriguedtohowtheyfilmedcertain aspectsof the film such as the action sequences
withinthe film London HasFallen. Therefore, due to this fact I managed to gain media literacy by the end of
the filmas I viewedfandom while alsoviewingreviews and promotional interviews on TV shows such as The
Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In addition, after I watched the thriller film Prisoners I went to view
multiple social networking sites so I could develop a better relationship between myself and the film
Prisoners.Interms,of Web2.0 I lookedatnetworkingsitessuchas;Facebook,Instagram, Vimeo, Tumblr and
YouTube. I wanted to look at networking sites such as this because I wanted to watch behind the scenes
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footage as well aspromotional interviews. By watching aspects such as this I was able to enhance aspects of
my academicstudy as I receivedthoroughknowledgeonhow todirectfilmproductionsmore effectively. For
evidence,pleasefollow the followinglink;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv-SDsqK-b0.Therefore, from
this aspect I was made more interactive with the film Prisoners. In addition, I also received media literacy
before I watched the film Prisoners as I viewed a promotional interview which featured Hugh Jackman and
Jake Gyllenhaal.Inorder to promote their film they visited the Katie Couric show for a humorous interview
titled‘Jake Gyllenhaal SaidWHATAboutHughJackman??’ withinthisinterview both of the actors said things
abouteach otherwhichtheysaidinthe past. For example,the actorJake Gyllenhaal said ‘He is a ridiculously
goodman and it’sannoying, I mean he sings, he dances, and he saves children’. For evidence please follow
the followinglink; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgQGUquxOVE.Anotherpromotionalinterview which
I decidedtowatchbefore Isaw the filmwasconductedby Empire Magazine and it once again featured Hugh
Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The interview was titled ‘Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal Interview –
Prisoners’. From this particular interview I managed to gain media literacy as I found out more information
about Hugh Jackman’s character Keller Dover. I found out that Hugh’s character was a recovering alcoholic
therefore; before I watched the film I had an idea that this specific character will be dangerous and
pretentious. This on the other hand, intrigued me to go and watch the film as I wanted to see what Keller
Dover is capable of.
Additionally, after I watched the film I also took to review websites such as; IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and
Metacritic.WhenI looked at these three particular review websites I found out that their ratings were very
similar as IMDb gave them an 8.1 rating out of ten, Rotten Tomatoes gave them an 82% rating out of 100%
and the review website Metacritic gave them a 74% out of 100%. After this I also went on to read Empire’s
review of the film as I was interested on their personal view as I really enjoyed the film due to the enigma
code which was questioned throughout up until the denouement. In addition, I also interpreted this
magazines review as I am their intended demographic target audience as they love to review thrillers and
superherofilms. Despitethis,the EmpireMagazineendedupgivingthe film Prisoners a three out of five star
rating. In addition, Ithoroughlybelievethatthe filmsreviewsweremore thansatisfactory andwell deserved.
To conclude, at the end of the film Prisoners I also tried to find aspects of Fandom as I enjoy reading them
prominentlydue tothe humour. However,Iwasunable tofindanyform of fandom. Despite these facts, I still
thoroughlybelieveIdevelopedabetterrelationship with the film due to pre and post viewing experiences.
AnotherfilmwhichIgainedmedia literacy from was London Has Fallen. After I watched this particular film I
once again tookto social networkingsites (Web2.0) so I could find out more information about the film. For
example, intermsof social mediaIwentonsitessuchas; Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr
to interactwithmychosen film London Has Fallen. For example, when I took to Facebook I searched for the
actor Gerard Butler who stars in the film. When I clicked on his profile I found out that over the past month
Gerard has been promotinghislatestfilm LondonHasFallen by.He promotedhis film in a substantial way by
postinganunseenclipon Facebook taken from the film and he titled it; ‘Warning…don’t try this! This scene
from#LondonHasFallenwasepictofilmbuttoowildtoair on TV. I wanted to give you an exclusive first look
before it plays in theatres this Friday’. In addition, I thoroughly believe if a male audience member would
have seen this without any notice of the film they would have been intrigued to go and watch it as the clip
showsa lotof fastpace cinematographyandaction. Furthermore,before Iwenttowatchthe film London Has
Fallen incinemas I viewedapromotional interview which took place on The Late Night Show Starring Jimmy
Fallon whichfeaturedGerardButler. The interview was titled; ‘Slapjack with Gerard Butler’. In my opinion, I
believethisinterviewwouldhave promotedthe film London HasFallen substantiallyas it featured the star of
the filmGerardButleron an extremelypopularlate nightchatshow. For evidencepleasefollow the following
link;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XldS2w8-Hps.Thisinterviewonthe otherhand,allowedme to gain
media literacy because when Gerard was on the show he talked about the filming London Has Fallen
therefore,givingme amuch broaderandthoroughunderstandingof how theirproductionaspectturnedout.
In addition, before I watched the film I also viewed a promotional behind the scenes interview which was
conductedby ScreenSlam.The interview wastitled;‘LondonHasFallen:GerardButler“Mike Banning”Behind
the ScenesMovie Interview’. Withinthisinterview GerardButlertalkedabouthow filmingwasgoingandhow
DeclanTyldesley
he thoughtthe filmwasgoingto turn out therefore,fromthisinterview Igainedmedialiteracy.Forevidence,
please follow the following link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mZgUy0s5qQ.
Furthermore,in termsof postviewingexperiencesafterIwatchedthe film I took to review websites such as;
IMDb, RottenTomatoesandMetacritic. For examples,the reviewwebsite IMDbgave the film a 6.1 rating out
of ten,RottenTomatoesgave the filma 24% rating out of 100% and Metacritic gave the film a 28% rating out
of 100%. In addition,afterIwatchedthe filmIalsolookedat the guardians rating as the film showed London
beingblowntopiecestherefore,Iwantedtolookatthe guardiansratingof the film. Asexpectedthe guardian
gave the film a two star out of a possible five stars. The Guardian newspaper gave the film this particular
ratingbecause theysaiditwas ‘a cheaplookingsequelto Olympus Has Fallen has the capital city targeted by
terroristsallowingthe USpresidenttime tochill withhisfavourite securityguard’. Therefore,fromthisarticle
I gainedmedialiteracyasIreceivedathorough knowledge of the guardians review and rating. For evidence
please followthe followinglinktothe guardiannewspaperatthe bottom of the paragraph. In addition, I also
managedto lookat the Empire Magazine’sreview andratingof the film London HasFallen as they gave them
a two outof five starrating. This particularmagazine onthe otherhand also had a very similar reason to why
they gave the film such a low rating therefore; from this I once again gained media literacy as I found out
about someone else’s review of the film. In conclusion, I was once again unable to gain any form of media
literacyfromfandomor forumsasthere were none placeduponthe film. Inaddition,Iwasalsounable tofind
any bador goodpublicityarticlesaboutthe filmtherefore,Igainedaslightamountof media literacy as there
were no relationships or major filming failures on set.
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/02/london-has-fallen-review-gerard-butler-bromance-brews-
as-big-ben-blows
As opposed,tothe othertwofilms,withthe filmTaken Ididn’treceive asubstantial amountof medialiteracy
as I just decided to view review websites such as IMDb and I also watched one promotional interview
conducted by TributeMovies. However, I do not thoroughly believe that this was based on my opinion as in
the year 2008 social media wasn’t as big as it is today therefore, the films advertising wasn’t that great. For
example, in terms of the review websites I decided to look at IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic as I
wantedtoviewotherpeople’sopinions of the film Taken. In addition, IMDb gave the film a 7.9 rating out of
10, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 58% rating out of 100% and Metacritic gave the film a 50% rating out of
100%. In contrast,I alsodecidedtolookat the Empire Magazines review andtheygave themaone outof five
star rating. The Empire magazine stated; ‘Liam Nessons’s ill-judged presence should not cause you to even
consider going within 30 feet of a fleapit that’s screening Taken’. For evidence follow the following link;
http://www.empireonline.com/movies/taken/review/. This on the other hand, might have drawn people
away fromwatchingthe filmdue toDan Jolin’snegativereview of the film.Despite,thisfactfrom this review
I managed to gain some form of media literacy. Furthermore, before the film I also decided to preview an
interview with the star Liam Neeson. Within this interview he gave context about the film prominently in
terms of his character Bryan Mills. For evidence please follow the link at the bottom of the paragraph. To
conclude, despitethe lackof medialiteracyI gained from this film, I think if social media and multiple other
aspects were more advanced around the time of its sequels release Taken 3 (Megaton, 2014) I would have
gaineda muchmore substantial amountof medialiteracy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6G7lrC8jU
In conclusion, Ithoroughlybelievethe differenttheoriesIapplied to my three chosen films gave me a better
understanding and relationship with the three films. I also believe that the various media aspects such as
social networkingsitesallowedme to gain a substantial amount of media literacy therefore; allowing me to
interactwithmythree chosenfilms; Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013), Taken (Morel, 2008) and London Has Fallen
(Najafi, 2016).

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GWL7 Assignment

  • 1. DeclanTyldesley GWL7 Assignment WithinthisassignmentIamgoingto discusshow demographicaudiencesengagewithaspecific genre of film with thorough film examples taken from the thriller film genre. In order to prove this I am going to apply three different theories to my chosen films which are; Uses & Gratifications theory, Reception theory and Lacey’srepertoire of elements. Genre isimportantforbothfilmproducersandfilmaudiencesasitallows film producers to engage with their demographic audience whilst they remain interested and intrigued in the genre, so when the film is finally released they will go to watch it and gain some form of ‘pleasure’ and ‘reading’. In addition, film producers can also enhance an audiences understanding within the marketing aspect. A film’smarketingcampaignshouldenhance the audiencesunderstanding of the film because within the campaign they’ll more than likely leave elliptical elements which relate to the narrative and characters encoded. Whenaudiencesgotowatch a particular film there always seems to be a large debate focusing on whetheraudiencesare individual,active spectatorsorpassive spectators (HypodermicNeedleModel theory). In reference tothe usesandgratificationstheory,whenaudiences leave the circumstance of exhibition they will have either one or more of these four different pleasures; diversion, personal relationship, personal identity or surveillance. The filmgenre whichIhave selectedisthe thriller film genre; I selected this genre because I enjoy watching these typesof films.The filmswhich I am going to are; Taken (Morel, 2008), London Has Fallen (Najafi, 2016) and Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013). The filmTaken was directedbythe French film director Pierre Morel and released in the year 2008 with a 15 age rating. The filmdirectorPierre Morel before thisfilm was known for directing the film District 13 (Morel, 2004). The production companies which supported these films were; Canal+ and EuropaCorp. The stars include;Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills), Maggie Grace (Kim) and Famke Janssen (Lenore). I believe the film star Liam Neesonwouldhave attracted a broad target audience as he has starred in films such as; Schindler’s List (Spielberg,1993) and Star Wars:EpisodeI – The PhantomMenace(Lucas,1999). The plotof thisfilmstates;‘A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris’. In contrast,the film London HasFallen was directedbySwedishthe filmdirectorBabakNajafi andreleased in the year 2016 witha 15 age rating. The filmdirectorBabakNajafi was known for directing the two films Easy Money II (Najafi, 2012) and Sebbe (Najafi, 2010). The production companies which supported these films were; NU Image and Millennium Films. These production companies which supported the film London Has Fallen bothoperate withinNorthAmericatherefore; they will be able to attract a broad demographic target audience.The stars for the film London Has Fallen included Gerard Butler (Mike Banning), Morgan Freeman (SpeakerTrumbull) and Aaron Eckhart (President Benjamin Asher). I believe, the actor Gerard Butler would have attracted a broad target audience because he has starred in films such as; 300 (Snyder, 2006) and Law Abiding Citizen (Gray, 2009). The plot of this film states; ‘In London for the Prime Ministers funeral, Mike Banning discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders’. The filmPrisoners wasdirectedbythe Frenchand CanadianfilmdirectorDenisVilleneuve andreleasedin the year 2013 with a 15 age rating. This particular film director is also known for directing the two films Enemy (Villeneuve, 2013) and Incendies (Villeneuve, 2010). The production company which supported the film Prisoners was Alcon Entertainment. This production company operates fully in America therefore; this companywas useful asthe film Prisoners wasfilmedprominentlywithinthe Georgia state. The stars include; Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano. I believe the film star Hugh Jackman would have attracted a broad targetaudience ashe has starredin Hollywoodblockbusters such as; X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Hood, 2009) andLes Misérables (Hooper,2012). The plotof the film Prisoners states;WhenKellerDover’s(Jackman) daughterandher friendgomissing,he takesmatters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
  • 2. DeclanTyldesley The reception theory was conducted by Stuart Hall. Within this particular theory Hall focused on the relationshipbetweenthe textandthe audience throughout encoding and decoding model. The ‘text’ within films is encoded by the film producers and it is then decoded by their audience and there are also major differencesbetweentwodifferentreadingsof the same code.Thisimpliesthatthe films‘text’isnotpassively accepted by the audience, but the reception theory focuses on individual circumstances and how they can affect an individual’s reading of a film. Additionally, within the theory there are three different types of readingwhichare;preferred,negotiatedandoppositional.If anaudience member leavesthe circumstance of exhibitionwithapreferredreading,theywouldhave readthe film in an enjoyable and expectant way which the producer intended it to be read. For example, when I watched the comedy, action and adventure film Ride Along 2 (Story,2016) I readthe filmina preferredreadingand this could have been affected due to the contextual factors stated within the theory. The contextual factors within the reception theory are the; elements of the viewer’s identity, circumstances of exhibition, the spectators preconceived notions concerning the films genre and production, and the social, historical and political issues. I believe the contextual factorwhichaffectedmyreadingthe mostwasthe elements of my identity as this particular film attracts my demographic social group (D). I also think the circumstances of exhibition can affect an individual’sreadingbecauseif theywere watchingafilmacademicallytheywouldhave adifferent reading of the filmas opposed toan individual whoiswatchingthe filminthe cinema. Thesetwodifferentpeople would have readthe filmdifferentlybecause astudentwill knowwhattolookforin the filmsuch as; mise en scene, cinematography and meaning whereas; as the person in the cinema may not. To conclude, I thoroughly believe each contextual factor discussed by Stuart Hall in theory can affect an individual’s reading of a film substantially.Forexample,Ibelieveif afemale wouldhave watched the film The Accused (Kaplan, 1988) she wouldhave hada much differentreadingincomparisontoamale because withinthe film it includes a scene when the character Sarah Tobias is raped brutally by three men. She would have read it differently in comparisontoa male because she will be able toidentifywithinthe characterSarah Tobias therefore;she will be heavily disturbed and read the film in a different manor as a male will not be able to identify with the female character. In reference tothe three filmswhichIselectedoutof the thrillerfilmgenre, I believe I ‘read’ each individual film slightly different substantially due to the contextual factors stated within theory. When I finished watchingthe film Taken Ileftmylivingroomwitha preferredreadingof the filmdue tothe contextual factors such as the circumstance of exhibition. I might have had developed this reading due to the circumstance of exhibitionasIwas muchmore comfortable therefore,allowingme torelax andwatch the film in full context. Therefore, I think if I was watching this film in a classroom for academic reasons I would have developed a differentreadingof the film.Ialsothinkmydemographical identify could have had an impact on my reading of the filmbecause asIam categorized withinthe Dgroupon the demographical scale I mightbe offended by certainaspectsthat relate to my identity but if a person within the B group watched this film they wouldn’t be as offended asthe film doesn’t relate to them. Due to this fact, I therefore thoroughly believe I adhered substantially towards this particular film. However, I believe if a parent was to watch this specific film they would more than likely develop a preferred reading as they will be intrigued to demonstrate the same behaviorthatBryan didto rescue theirchild. In addition, the film Taken also uses a social and political issue whichfocusesonAlbanianstraffickinggirlsforsex sotheycanuse themas sex slaves. This on the other hand might have also affected a parents reading substantially as they may become worried about their daughter travelling by themselves with one or two friends. In contrast, another thriller film which I ‘read’ in a preferred reading was the film Prisoners. Once again as I am categorizedintothe Dgroup on the social scale thisfilmonthe otherhand adheredtome substantiallyas it prominently included scenes of violence. Also throughout the film there was an effective enigma code which was never dropped therefore, I was intrigued to continue watching. In addition, this film was also viewed by me in my living room so this once again me to watch the film comfortably and without stress. In addition, I once again believe that parents would have had a different reading as a pose to me as the film portrays to girls being kidnapped who come from two different families. As the film focuses on this highly social and political subject I think parents who have daughters would have developed a negotiated or
  • 3. DeclanTyldesley oppositionalreading.Ithinktheywouldhave developed either of these readings because they’ll personally see themselvesonscreenfightingfortheirdaughterandcommittingsome of the crimeswhichthe characters withinthe filmcommit.Therefore,Ibelieve certain demographics would have had substantial preconceived notions concerning this film prominently due to its production device. Finally, the thriller film London Has Fallen used social and political issues as their production device which mighthave changedan individual’sreadingof thisparticularfilm.Forexample,the filmshowedlarge terrorist attacks which took place in London somewhere that still hasn’t been hit by the Islamic State therefore; the audience might develop an insight to what it might be like if they do so. As the film shows London in corruption and deficit I think the majority of demographics who went to watch this film would have had substantiallylarge preconceivednotions of Londonbeingblownup if theywere living in Britain. Due to these facts, I happened to read the film in a preferred reading as the film made me worry and think about events whichcould take place in London which the producers intended to do. This reading was also pushed due to recentIslamicState attacksin BrusselsandParisto veryhighlypopulatedcities.Inaddition, I also believe my demographical identity could have had a large impact on my reading as I have a thorough knowledge on recentIslamicState attacks. Whereas, someone else possibly much younger might not therefore, they may ‘read’ the film in a preferred reading. I also happened to watch this film within the cinema therefore; a completely different atmosphere was developed in comparison to my living room. This circumstance of exhibition on the other hand made the atmosphere much more intense due to the large speakers and big screen.Inconclusion,Ithoroughlybelieve each demographic would have developed a completely different reading of all three of these films based on their contextual factors. Two theorists named Blumler and Katz are the advocates of the Uses & Gratifications theory, which heavily statesthat audience profilesare individual,active spectatorswho question the media text(s) they consume. An aspect of the Uses & Gratifications theory also states individuals watch films for different reasons and pleasures. Blumler and Katz stated that there are four main film pleasures which are Diversion, Personal Relationships,Personal Identity and Surveillance. The diversion film pleasure is perhaps the most common reasonto whyaudienceschoose towatch films. They choose to receive this pleasure by watching films as it takesthemout of the realityof theirownlivesandremovesall of theircurrentproblemsastheyare placedin context. As this is the most common film pleasure Hollywood blockbuster films such as Deadpool (Miller, 2016) try to extract audience profiles out of their everyday lives so they can enjoy the film and not have to worryabout anything.Byusingthisfilmpleasure,the film will more than likely distribute a positive word of mouthout to the demographical public.The personal relationshipsfilmpleasure usesthe media prominently for emotional interaction.Some people tend to watch films which use this pleasure as a substitute for their own‘personal relationships’therefore,people might go to watch a romantic, comedy film as they are single and theywantto feel like theyare inarelationship.Alsosome demographics might go to watch a film which focuses, around a group of friends so they can feel like they are a part of that group. For example, a f ilm which gives this pleasure is The Goonies (Donner, 1985). In addition,the personal identitypleasure is when an individual spectator finds themselves reflected in the textencodedsofromthistheymightlearnbehaviorandvaluesfromthe textsencoded.Due to this, multiple people maywatcha filmforreasonson personal identity.BlumlerandKatz also stated that personal identity doesn’thave tobe reflectedonly on a specific character, it can be based on a certain subculture or lifestyle. For example,people who smoke will prominently go to watch a stoner comedy as they will see a reflection within certain characters followed by their general, everyday lifestyle. An example, of a current stoner comedyfilmis;American Ultra (Nourizadeh,2015).Finally,the surveillance pleasure uses information which could be useful for living. Due to this, these films are very educational and prominently come under the documentaryandbiographical genre.Forexample,whenIwatchedthe film Blackfish (Cowperthwaite,2013) I received surveillanceas itgave me a thorough knowledge on what was happening to the orcas in SeaWorld. In contrast, when I watch a particular thriller film I gain multiple film pleasures by the end of the film. One dominantpleasure whichItendto receive when I watch thriller films is the diversion film pleasure as these
  • 4. DeclanTyldesley types of films extract me out of my everyday life and problems by placing me in a diverse world and environment.Due to this fact, I therefore adhere substantially to this genre of film as it takes me out of my everydaylife byidentifyingtoacharacter. In addition,whenwatchingthrillerfilmsIalsosometimesdevelopa personal identityfilmpleasure aswithin some thrillerfilms such as Prisoners although I am not a parent I can see myself reflected on what I would do to protect my daughter. I could see myself reflected in this film because the directorDenisVilleneuve reaches so many demographics by showing them how far they would go to save their daughter in the future, if anything like this ever took place. As opposed to myself I also thoroughly believe that other audience profiles will develop other film pleasures by watching particular thrillerfilms. For example, some demographics might watch a thriller film which focuses on political issues that they don’t have a thorough knowledge upon. Therefore, if they were to watch a thriller film which surroundedapolitical issue theywill developasurveillance filmpleasure,asthe film will thoroughly educate them about that uprising, political issue. For example, a film which might have allowed an audience to develop more knowledge isafilmnamed London Has Fallen. In addition, I am attracted to the thriller genre, because Ienjoywatchingall of the effective film conventions on screen such as low key lighting, as they are able to make the atmosphere much more intense. I am also attracted to these films because I enjoy the storyline asitmainlyincludesatwist.Thrillerfilmsalsotendtohave large Hollywoodactorswithinthe filmso they can attract a bigger audience therefore; I enjoy thriller films much more because of the stars. For example,anupcomingthrillerfilm namedJason Bourne (Greengrass, 2016) stars Matt Damon a substantially established actor within the industry. To conclude, I am also attracted to watch these types of films as I believe the thriller genre is a mixture between the action and horror genre. Anotherwayinwhichwe can analyze filmsisthroughoutNickLacey’srepertoire of elements which provides us withan insightintowhyaudienceswatchaparticulargenre.NickLaceybelieved that if we split a film into five different categories we would be able to place a film into a certain genre as it will hold multiple similarities. Within his book Narrative and Genre: Key Concepts in Media Studies Nick Lacey stated five key areas; setting, characters, narrative events, iconography and the style (technical and audio codes). Withinthe thrillerfilmgenre,filmproducers tend to use specific and conventional settings which adhere to theirtargetaudience.Some settingswhichtheytendtouse whenfilmingare substantiallypopulatedcities,as we receive astrongfeelingthatinnocentpeople are going to die. Also settings such as this build tension, as the antagonist is much harder to find in city capitals. For example, the film London Has Fallen was set in predominantlyinLondonasall of the world’spresidential leaders were meeting here due to the early death of the British Prime Minister. I think the London setting was also used effectively in the film because the world’smostpowerful leaderswere quite obviouslyoverexposed.Incomparison,the thriller film Taken also useda large capital city as theirsettingwhichwas Paris. Once again, I thoroughly believe the film producers usedthissettingeffectively as they followed a political issue which surrounds Albanians trafficking girls for sex within European countries. Despite these facts, the thriller film Prisoners decided to set their film prominentlywithinahousingestate inAtlanta,Georgiawhere familiesmightlive.Therefore, this thriller film on the other hand shifted away from thriller film genre conventions; but it was still used effectively as the settingwasrelatable towardsaparticulartargetaudience.Toconclude,Ithoroughlybelieve the thriller films have quite a lot of flexibility when choosing an effective setting as long as it matches an aspe ct of their metaphorically opaque storyline, as you don’t know who committed the crime until the end of the film. The characters withinthrillerfilmsprominently demonstrate aggressive and reluctant behavior as they’ll be tryingto findthe antagonistora particularfamilymember.The characterswithinthrillerfilmsalsotend to be veryformal as theymightworkfor the FBI or securityservices.However,althoughthe protagonistmightwork for a formal company they tend to look just like an average person therefore, they are made relatable towards a certain demographic target audience. In addition, another way in which film producers build tensionisbygivingtheirprotagonistafamily.If theydothisthe audience will startto worry about if they will make it back to their family. For example, within the thriller film London Has Fallen the character Mike Banning portrayed by Gerard Butler leaves his family behind so he can go to London to protect President BenjaminAsherportrayed by Aaron Eckhart. On the other hand, the character Mike Banning adhered to the
  • 5. DeclanTyldesley thriller film genre conventions as they made him formal, vicious when needed, and they also gave him a family.Incomparison,the film Prisoners prominentlyfocused on the character named Keller Dover who was portrayedbyHugh Jackman.Thischaracter adheredto conventionsashe demonstratedmaliciousandvicious behavior as he savagely beat the character Alex Jones (Paul Dano) until an inch of his life. In conclusion, I believe that the majority of thriller film protagonists need to be relatable towards a certain demographic target audience, as the narrative event might make a certain audience worried as they can relate to the character encoded. In additionthrillerfilmsholdsimilarities within the narrative structure and events which take place. Thriller filmswithinthe 21st centurytendto follow alinear narrative structure, as I believe they are trying to comply withTzvetanTodorov’sfive actstructure theory.Ibelieve if filmproducerscomply withphilosopher’stheoryI thinkthey’ll be able tocreate a substantiallyintense climax. Tzvetan stated five different acts which were; a state of equilibrium,adisruption of the ordered state by an event, a recognition that a disruption has taken place,an attempttorepairthe damage of the disruptionanda returnto some kindof equilibrium. However, despite thisconventional structure some thrillerfilms also tend to use a substantial amount of flashbacks so they can develop a characters background and by doing this the audience should understand why certain characters demonstrate particular behavior. In addition, within thriller films the narrative events tend to consist of a detective hunting for a serial killer or family member. For example, the thriller film Taken followedalinearnarrative withnousage of flashbacksdespite thisfact;the film Taken onthe other hand still gave us an insight into Bryan Mills (Liam Nesson) past with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). In addition, within this film the main narrative was Bryan Mills hunting for his daughter Kim as she was kidnapped by Albanianswhotrafficgirlsforsex inEuropeancountriestherefore,inreference tothe theoryhe isattempting ‘to repair the damage of the disruption’. In comparison, the film Prisoners followed very similar narrative structuresand events,asitfollowedalinearnarrative withno usage flashbacks. In terms of narrative events the film focused on the character Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) as he tried to find his daughter Anna Dover (ErinGerasimovich) who was kidnapped by someone unknown. To conclude, I believe the narrative events within each of these films created a large semiotic meaning which could be useful towards parents as it implied them to watch their children as the topics within these films are possible. The iconography within thriller films is generally quite broad, as thriller films can include aspects such as; police, weapons, shadows, confined spaces and low key lighting. As thriller films include aspects such as this send heavy connotations of violence, death and darkness. By sending connotations like this, they’ll be able to substantially appeal to their demographictargetaudience byfollowingthrillerfilmgenre conventions. In addition, I also believe thriller film iconography can also make certain target audiencesdisturbedastheymightnotlike the sight of blood and aggression. For example, within the filmPrisoners the directordecidedto show a lot of violent iconography such as a; hammer, knives and guns. In addition,the film director also showed the character Alex Jones in a lot of pain as to Keller Dover he was the prime subjectandhe knewwhere hisdaughter was. I also thoroughly believe that their audience would have been slightly disturbed as they might be starting to wonder how far Keller Dover will go to find his daughter. For evidence,please viewthe image above.Incomparison,the mainstream filmLondon Has Fallen prominently shows police iconography as the world’s most powerful leaders are meetings. This usage of iconographyonthe otherhand wouldhave made theiraudience feelsafe andsecure as it seems nothing bad can happen therefore, I thoroughly believe this aspect appealed to their demographic target audience. As opposed tothe filmPrisoners I believe the iconography in this film was much more formal and professional whereas; the other film icons people who seem to have no idea at what they are getting into. In addition, I thinkeachof these filmsportrayedastrongand life changing meaning throughout the usage of iconography as each of the films portrayed how far a parent would go to protect the ones they love. In conclusion, I believeeachthrillerfilmholdssome similaritiesintermsof iconographyastheybuildtension at a substantial speed up until the climax.
  • 6. DeclanTyldesley Finally, thriller films tend to use particular technical and audio styles whichadhere tothe genres conventions. In reference to a thriller films technical styles they mainly demonstrate broad cinematography techniquesrangingfromslowtofastcameramovements.These specific camera techniquesportrayveryemotional,intensifyinganddarkscenes. In addition, a conventional camera range which directors use within thrillerfilmsisaclose upshot;as this the audience to view a character’s emotions. By allowing audiences to see characters like this the film director will be able to give the films audience anemotional response therefore,makingscenesmuchmore intense. For example, within the film Taken the filmdirectorPierre Morel usedaclose up shotwhenBryanMills was torturing one of the Albanian kidnappersthroughthe usage of electricity.Forevidence,pleaseview the image above.Inaddition,whenthe films audience were decoding the text in their circumstance of exhibition they would have been able to clearlytell howthe characterBryan Millswasfeelingatthismomentof time.Inmyopinion,bylooking at this image I can tell the character Bryan Mills is incredibly distressed and troubled due to his facial expression whichI can viewinthoroughdetail because of the technical style. Additionally, in terms of the audio thriller filmstendtouse;diegeticandnon-diegetic. Forexample, within thriller films they tend to use intense non- diegeticmusicwhichconsistsof pianosandviolins. Withinthe thrillerfilm Prisoners, theydecidedtouse both stylesof audio.Forexample,whenthe characterKellerDoverfollowedAlexJonesdownthe street as he sang a song whichthe twogirlswere singingthe nightbefore theywentmissing,the directordecidedtouse anon- diegetic piece of music which gradually went to a higher tempo as he got closer and closer. This was used effectivelywithinthe filmbecause whenKellerfinallystoppedAlex he lookedin shockanddespairashe knew he was goingto be attacked.Finally,the filmdirectoruseddiegeticsoundsof breathingandpainforexample, whenAlex Joneswasbeingburnt to death from the heat of the shower as he was trapped in a wooden box. Thison the otherhand, made the filmmuch more intense because personally I started to feel some form of sympathyforthe character as he wasalmostdeadand he alsohas an IQ of a ten-year-oldtherefore,makingit hard for himto communicate.Toconclude,Ibelieve the technical and audio codes within my chosen thriller filmswere usedeffectively as they allowed their audiences to receive powerful and life-changing semiotic messages especially within the film Prisoners. Intertextuality is when another media product references to another media text. When I was watching my three chosenthrillerfilmsIwasable tofindone formof intertextuality.The thriller film London Has Fallen in terms of intertextuality made reference to characters within the films prequel Olympus Has Fallen (Fuqua, 2013). Filmssuchas Pulp Fiction usedheavyamountsof intertextuality as they made reference to films such as; The Seven Year Itch (Wilder, 1955), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974) and Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960). In evidence, Quentin Tarantino made reference to the film Psycho, when Butch was waiting at the crossroads in his car, until he was passed by Marcellus Wallace; this replicated a very similar scene from Psycho when Marion Crane sees her boss walk in front of her car when having stolen $40,000 from him. Medialiteracyisthe abilitytoaccess,analyse,evaluateandcreate mediain various amounts of forms; it also manages to build an understanding of the role of media in society. Media literacy is also an effective and engaging way to apply critical thinking skills to a wide range of upcoming issues. Media literacy also allows demographicaudienceprofilestofindout more information about the film before or after they go to watch the film at their circumstance of exhibition. For example, they can find out information about the film by looking at fandom, interactivity and social networking sites (Web 2.0). In addition, once I had finished watching my three chosen thriller films I went to multiple different sources to find out more information aboutthe filmsasI wasintriguedtohowtheyfilmedcertain aspectsof the film such as the action sequences withinthe film London HasFallen. Therefore, due to this fact I managed to gain media literacy by the end of the filmas I viewedfandom while alsoviewingreviews and promotional interviews on TV shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In addition, after I watched the thriller film Prisoners I went to view multiple social networking sites so I could develop a better relationship between myself and the film Prisoners.Interms,of Web2.0 I lookedatnetworkingsitessuchas;Facebook,Instagram, Vimeo, Tumblr and YouTube. I wanted to look at networking sites such as this because I wanted to watch behind the scenes
  • 7. DeclanTyldesley footage as well aspromotional interviews. By watching aspects such as this I was able to enhance aspects of my academicstudy as I receivedthoroughknowledgeonhow todirectfilmproductionsmore effectively. For evidence,pleasefollow the followinglink;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv-SDsqK-b0.Therefore, from this aspect I was made more interactive with the film Prisoners. In addition, I also received media literacy before I watched the film Prisoners as I viewed a promotional interview which featured Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.Inorder to promote their film they visited the Katie Couric show for a humorous interview titled‘Jake Gyllenhaal SaidWHATAboutHughJackman??’ withinthisinterview both of the actors said things abouteach otherwhichtheysaidinthe past. For example,the actorJake Gyllenhaal said ‘He is a ridiculously goodman and it’sannoying, I mean he sings, he dances, and he saves children’. For evidence please follow the followinglink; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgQGUquxOVE.Anotherpromotionalinterview which I decidedtowatchbefore Isaw the filmwasconductedby Empire Magazine and it once again featured Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The interview was titled ‘Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal Interview – Prisoners’. From this particular interview I managed to gain media literacy as I found out more information about Hugh Jackman’s character Keller Dover. I found out that Hugh’s character was a recovering alcoholic therefore; before I watched the film I had an idea that this specific character will be dangerous and pretentious. This on the other hand, intrigued me to go and watch the film as I wanted to see what Keller Dover is capable of. Additionally, after I watched the film I also took to review websites such as; IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.WhenI looked at these three particular review websites I found out that their ratings were very similar as IMDb gave them an 8.1 rating out of ten, Rotten Tomatoes gave them an 82% rating out of 100% and the review website Metacritic gave them a 74% out of 100%. After this I also went on to read Empire’s review of the film as I was interested on their personal view as I really enjoyed the film due to the enigma code which was questioned throughout up until the denouement. In addition, I also interpreted this magazines review as I am their intended demographic target audience as they love to review thrillers and superherofilms. Despitethis,the EmpireMagazineendedupgivingthe film Prisoners a three out of five star rating. In addition, Ithoroughlybelievethatthe filmsreviewsweremore thansatisfactory andwell deserved. To conclude, at the end of the film Prisoners I also tried to find aspects of Fandom as I enjoy reading them prominentlydue tothe humour. However,Iwasunable tofindanyform of fandom. Despite these facts, I still thoroughlybelieveIdevelopedabetterrelationship with the film due to pre and post viewing experiences. AnotherfilmwhichIgainedmedia literacy from was London Has Fallen. After I watched this particular film I once again tookto social networkingsites (Web2.0) so I could find out more information about the film. For example, intermsof social mediaIwentonsitessuchas; Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr to interactwithmychosen film London Has Fallen. For example, when I took to Facebook I searched for the actor Gerard Butler who stars in the film. When I clicked on his profile I found out that over the past month Gerard has been promotinghislatestfilm LondonHasFallen by.He promotedhis film in a substantial way by postinganunseenclipon Facebook taken from the film and he titled it; ‘Warning…don’t try this! This scene from#LondonHasFallenwasepictofilmbuttoowildtoair on TV. I wanted to give you an exclusive first look before it plays in theatres this Friday’. In addition, I thoroughly believe if a male audience member would have seen this without any notice of the film they would have been intrigued to go and watch it as the clip showsa lotof fastpace cinematographyandaction. Furthermore,before Iwenttowatchthe film London Has Fallen incinemas I viewedapromotional interview which took place on The Late Night Show Starring Jimmy Fallon whichfeaturedGerardButler. The interview was titled; ‘Slapjack with Gerard Butler’. In my opinion, I believethisinterviewwouldhave promotedthe film London HasFallen substantiallyas it featured the star of the filmGerardButleron an extremelypopularlate nightchatshow. For evidencepleasefollow the following link;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XldS2w8-Hps.Thisinterviewonthe otherhand,allowedme to gain media literacy because when Gerard was on the show he talked about the filming London Has Fallen therefore,givingme amuch broaderandthoroughunderstandingof how theirproductionaspectturnedout. In addition, before I watched the film I also viewed a promotional behind the scenes interview which was conductedby ScreenSlam.The interview wastitled;‘LondonHasFallen:GerardButler“Mike Banning”Behind the ScenesMovie Interview’. Withinthisinterview GerardButlertalkedabouthow filmingwasgoingandhow
  • 8. DeclanTyldesley he thoughtthe filmwasgoingto turn out therefore,fromthisinterview Igainedmedialiteracy.Forevidence, please follow the following link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mZgUy0s5qQ. Furthermore,in termsof postviewingexperiencesafterIwatchedthe film I took to review websites such as; IMDb, RottenTomatoesandMetacritic. For examples,the reviewwebsite IMDbgave the film a 6.1 rating out of ten,RottenTomatoesgave the filma 24% rating out of 100% and Metacritic gave the film a 28% rating out of 100%. In addition,afterIwatchedthe filmIalsolookedat the guardians rating as the film showed London beingblowntopiecestherefore,Iwantedtolookatthe guardiansratingof the film. Asexpectedthe guardian gave the film a two star out of a possible five stars. The Guardian newspaper gave the film this particular ratingbecause theysaiditwas ‘a cheaplookingsequelto Olympus Has Fallen has the capital city targeted by terroristsallowingthe USpresidenttime tochill withhisfavourite securityguard’. Therefore,fromthisarticle I gainedmedialiteracyasIreceivedathorough knowledge of the guardians review and rating. For evidence please followthe followinglinktothe guardiannewspaperatthe bottom of the paragraph. In addition, I also managedto lookat the Empire Magazine’sreview andratingof the film London HasFallen as they gave them a two outof five starrating. This particularmagazine onthe otherhand also had a very similar reason to why they gave the film such a low rating therefore; from this I once again gained media literacy as I found out about someone else’s review of the film. In conclusion, I was once again unable to gain any form of media literacyfromfandomor forumsasthere were none placeduponthe film. Inaddition,Iwasalsounable tofind any bador goodpublicityarticlesaboutthe filmtherefore,Igainedaslightamountof media literacy as there were no relationships or major filming failures on set. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/mar/02/london-has-fallen-review-gerard-butler-bromance-brews- as-big-ben-blows As opposed,tothe othertwofilms,withthe filmTaken Ididn’treceive asubstantial amountof medialiteracy as I just decided to view review websites such as IMDb and I also watched one promotional interview conducted by TributeMovies. However, I do not thoroughly believe that this was based on my opinion as in the year 2008 social media wasn’t as big as it is today therefore, the films advertising wasn’t that great. For example, in terms of the review websites I decided to look at IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic as I wantedtoviewotherpeople’sopinions of the film Taken. In addition, IMDb gave the film a 7.9 rating out of 10, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 58% rating out of 100% and Metacritic gave the film a 50% rating out of 100%. In contrast,I alsodecidedtolookat the Empire Magazines review andtheygave themaone outof five star rating. The Empire magazine stated; ‘Liam Nessons’s ill-judged presence should not cause you to even consider going within 30 feet of a fleapit that’s screening Taken’. For evidence follow the following link; http://www.empireonline.com/movies/taken/review/. This on the other hand, might have drawn people away fromwatchingthe filmdue toDan Jolin’snegativereview of the film.Despite,thisfactfrom this review I managed to gain some form of media literacy. Furthermore, before the film I also decided to preview an interview with the star Liam Neeson. Within this interview he gave context about the film prominently in terms of his character Bryan Mills. For evidence please follow the link at the bottom of the paragraph. To conclude, despitethe lackof medialiteracyI gained from this film, I think if social media and multiple other aspects were more advanced around the time of its sequels release Taken 3 (Megaton, 2014) I would have gaineda muchmore substantial amountof medialiteracy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6G7lrC8jU In conclusion, Ithoroughlybelievethe differenttheoriesIapplied to my three chosen films gave me a better understanding and relationship with the three films. I also believe that the various media aspects such as social networkingsitesallowedme to gain a substantial amount of media literacy therefore; allowing me to interactwithmythree chosenfilms; Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013), Taken (Morel, 2008) and London Has Fallen (Najafi, 2016).