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Action adventure films intro

  1. Action AdventureFilms This will feature as the Textual Analysis section of your final exam. You will be shown a 3-5 minute clip from an action adventure film 4 times and will be asked to answer questions related to the clip and questions related to the whole action adventure genre. You may take notes during the last 3 screenings of the clips. The questions will test your understanding of; 1. Genre 2. Media Language 3. Representation There are 50 marks available and you will have between 30 and 35 minutes to complete this section of the exam.
  2. Lesson 1. Genre Recap Quick quiz: 1. What is a genre? A genre is a group of films which share common features 2. What is a sub-genre? A sub-genre is a created when a group of films within a genre share common features separate to others within the genre. 3. What is a hybrid-genre? A hybrid genre is created when more than one genre can be identified within a film. 4. Give an example of a film genre. 5. Give an example of a sub-genre. 6. Give an example of a hybrid-genre. Action adventure, comedy, western, sci-fi, comedy. Slasher/horror, sci-fi/aliens, sci-fi/time travel, action adventure/superhero. Romantic comedy, action adventure comedy etc;
  3. Codes and Conventions of Action Adventure Films Action Adventure is a hybrid genre. It is very large and can include films that include other hybrid elements such Sci-fi (Star Wars), fantasy (Harry Potter/ Lord of the Rings), superhero (Spiderman), historical (Indiana Jones, The Mummy) and many other genres. In general the target audience is wide from children (usually from age 12) to adults. For example in 2012 5 of the top 10 films released in the UK were action adventure films; Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Avengers Assemble and The Amazing Spiderman. The posters on the following slides are for very different films within the Action Adventure genre. You need to look beyond the differences to find the common conventions they display.
  4. Serif and Sans Serif Fonts •Serif Fonts Have decoration: I • Sans-serif Fonts have no decoration: I • Easy to read • More difficult to read
  5. • The posters on the following slides are for very different films within the Action Adventure genre. • You need to look beyond the differences to find the common conventions they display. • Make notes on the sheets identifying the conventions.
  6. A B C D E F
  7. Once you have identified some common features share ideas with others and begin to compile a list of conventions of the Action Adventure Genre.
  8. Homework • Select an action adventure movie poster and explain how it displays the conventions of the action adventure genre. • Consider: characters, typography, text, colours, location and images. • 1 side of A4.
  9. Camerawork Camerawork is important when telling the story. It can establish where the scene is taking place, who is present and show clearly how the characters are feeling and their relationships with others. The major shots used are: Long shot: showing the whole scene. Mid shot: showing part of the set, focusing on 2 or 3 characters. Close up: showing detail of one character or object. To capture a reaction or emphasise the importance of the object. Point of view shot (POV): the camera is placed where a characters face would be so we see what they would see. Over the shoulder shot: the camera is placed so the audience is looking over the characters shoulder Task: On your storyboard draw a series of 3 shots which move from long shot to close up.
  10. Camerawork #2 The camera angle and position is very important and can change during a shot. The angle can be used to create messages about characters or places. It can place the audience in the action or separate them from it. Mid-angle: camera is at the same level as the characters. This can help place the audience in the action and give them a sense of “being there”. Low-angle: camera is looking up at characters or an object. This can be used to make locations or characters seem very large and imposing as they dominate the audience’s view. High-angle: camera is above the characters or the location. This is often used with a long shot to establish a location. Birds eye view: Camera is high above the characters and location making the audience a more distant observer. Canted-angle: the camera is tilted to the side. This creates a sense of disorientation for the audience. Task: using 5 storyboard slides draw a person shot from each of the angles above.
  11. Camerawork #3 The major camera movements used are: Track: following characters as they are walking or driving along and having a conversation. The camera in mounted on a track and moved along with the events. Pan: following characters going to or coming from a particular location. The camera remains in on position but moves from side to side, up or down or diagonally. Zoom: focusing in on a character or object from a distance. Or zooming out by moving away from a person or object. Focus Pull: The focus of the scene is pulled from either deep (something at the back of the scene) to something at the front or vice versa. Remember these can be combined!
  12. Camerawork in Practice Identify the use and effect of the camerawork in this clip. Shot 1: Shot 2: Shot 3: Shot4: Etc.
  13. Editing Films move from one shot to another by editing the footage Editing is used for the following reasons: •to control time •to tell the story •to focus on or make less important various characters •to control what the audience sees •to allow more than one story to be told at once
  14. Types of editing •Cut – used to suggest some sort of relationship between shots along side each other. Often used within a scene. •Dissolve – often used to suggest a strong relationship between shots along side each other, particularly events separated by space or time. Used to connect different scenes. •Wipe – often used to suggest a transition from one sequence or section to another. Used to separate one scene from another. Often used to show a change of location. • Fade – used to show the end or start of a scene or series of events. Fades often act as a visual ‘full stop’ for the end of a scene or a visual ‘capital letter’ at the start. •Parallel Editing – the action cuts between two separate stories happening at the same time.
  15. Textual Analysis combining Camerawork and Editing Terminator 2 (James Cameron 1991) As a group we will analyze the clip identifying how editing and camerawork combine to create tension and danger. (shot type, camera angle, movement, edit used and meaning/effect created) 1. What shots are used to establish the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of the scene? 2. What type of shots are used to show the main character is looking for something? 3. What shots are used to show the strength/dominance of the main character? 4. How does the pace of editing change during the scene and what effect does this change of pace have? 5. What kinds of edits are used? 6. Identify some shots and edits that show reactions in the clip.
  16. SoundSoundtrack – every sound you hear is on the soundtrack! The Score – the music written for the film! Diegetic Sound – Sound that exists within the “world” of the film. Non-diegetic Sound – sound which the characters can not hear but is added for the audiences’ benefit. Dialogue – the words spoken by characters in the film. Sound effects (FX) – diegetic sounds which are created in post production. Ambient sound – the background noise added to create a sense of realism or verisimilitude within a scene Synchronous sound – sound which fits the action. Asynchronous sound – sound which is opposed to the action.
  17. Textual Analysis Teamwork – The Directors Commentary • Your group have directed a fantastic Sci-fi /action movie. • You are going to show it a film directors convention and want to show off just how great your knowledge of how to use a camera, edit a film and use sound to manipulate the audiences feelings is. • In order to do this you are going to prepare a commentary for the clip explaining how you used different shots, angles, camera moves, edits and sound to create tension, excitement and establish the genre for the audience!
  18. • Your commentary should run alongside a playing of the clip (which you will be able to pause if you need to). • You must point out how you (the film makers) used and combined different techniques to create meaning for the audience. You can divide your group up to study the different elements. Group 1: Camerawork, Group 2: Editing, Sound A Structure to follow... 1. First as a whole group watch the clip several times to develop an understanding about what it is trying to do (introduce the story and establish the equilibrium, show an important piece of action happening, highlight the skills or abilities of a character). This will be the introduction to your presentation and you will need to explain the context of the clip briefly at the start of the presentation. Directors Commentary Guidance
  19. 2. Divide into sub groups and focus on your chosen area and analyse why these shots, angles, camera movements, edits and sound elements were used (identify the most important sequences for your area of study and analyse them closely – you do not have to analyse the whole clip). 3. Next work out how the different elements combine to create the message behind the scene (at this point your group needs to work together and identify moments where the different elements such as sound and camerawork or editing and sound work together to create a dramatic effect, what effect is created?) Finally in the 4th lesson you will present to the whole group using the 3 part presentation structure on the next slide. You will have 3 lessons to prepare your presentation. Your homework is to prepare and rehearse your part of the presentation. Directors Commentary Guidance
  20. Film Clip Analysis Presentation Structure: 1.Explain the clip within the context of the whole film. 2.Deliver the individual analysis of camerawork editing and sound. 3.Identify areas where the different elements combine and explain how they create a particular effect on the audience. (Angle reverse angle shots, music matching the action etc.)
  21. Jib Dolly Tripod Tracking system Steadycam Camera Equipment
  22. Plenary: Why are long shots, mid shots and close up shots used? Use the trailer for examples. Homework: Watch and write a review of an Action Adventure film. The review must include: Basic plot outline (remember Todorov). Characters used (remember Propp). The codes and conventions used. Identification of sub or hybrid genres used. Use of iconography. 500-800 words due
  23. Mise-en Scene This is a French word that means “What goes in the scene”. It is used in textual analysis to analyse the general atmosphere created within a scene. This helps the audience understand and interpret the action. The mise-en scene can be analyzed by breaking down the scene into parts: Costume Action Lights Makeup / Motif Props Setting
  24. On the next few slides are images which represent a mise-en scene. You must use CLAMPS to analyze the mise-en scene. First: make a general observation which describes the scene eg; spooky, luxurious, mysterious, homely. Second: go into more detail using CLAMPS to explain how the different parts of the scene contribute to the overall mise-en scene. Understanding and identifying Mise-en scene Aim: To develop an understanding of mise-en scene. To comprehend how it helps an audience understand the themes and context of a film.
  25. 1. The mise-en scene is futuristic and from another world Costumes are different to fashions at the present day. Actions involve flying an advanced looking vehicle The lighting is dark creating a sense of mystery and highlighting the glowing lights of the ship which suggest advanced technology Make up; one of the characters is an alien suggesting this is not taking place in the present day or near earth. Setting; the scene is in the cockpit of an advanced vehicle. The glowing lights suggest it is very complicated and uses advanced technology that we do not have at the present time. Props; include metallic objects that look advanced and suggest high technology.
  26. 1.
  27. 2. Starter: Describe the mise-en-scene created by this image. Costume Lights Action Make-up/Motif Props Setting
  28. Mise-en-scene: Use the Thinking Film resource DVD and question sheets from - L:Media StudiesResourcesThinking Film ResourcesThinking_Language Settings – The Last King of Scotland (2006) Costume – The Duchess (2008)
  29. 3.
  30. 4.
  31. Group Textual Analysis Mise-en scene Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, director; Steven Spielberg) The class will be divided into 6 groups. Each group will be responsible for making notes relating to one aspect of mise-en scene. 1. Watch the clip all the way through without taking notes. 2. Watch the clip for a second time. You may take notes on your area of study. 3. Discuss your findings with others in your group. 4. Watch the clip again to expand your notes.
  32. Denotative and Connotative Textual Analysis Denotation = What you see Connotation = What it means Part 1: Working as a whole group we will watch a flim clip and explain how it uses the conventions of Action Adventure films. As you watch the film prepare to write a paragraph for each of these questions; Denotation – 1. What you are seeing? Connotation – 2. What this means? Genre – 3. How do your answers to the previous two questions link the film to the Action Adventure genre.
  33. Produced : 1981 Directed by: Steven Spielberg Genre: Action Adventure
  34. Part 2: Working as two teams you are going to analyze the clip in greater detail identify where the key aspects are in the clip that link it to the Action Adventure genre. One team will explain with examples how the camerawork and editing are conventional for an Action Adventure film. The other will analyze the mise en scene and sound and explain with examples how this is conventional for the Action Adventure genre. Part 1 – Plenary; Where are the key aspects of the clip that link the film to Action Adventure?
  35. P. E. A! • Point – feature to be studied • Example – taken from the film • Analysis – explain the effect it creates for the audience and why it fits into the action adventure genre.
  36. A search Fights Weapons Heroes and villains Dramatic music – to build and release tension Exotic locations Fast cars etc. Damsel in distress False hero special effects Explosions (Pyrotechnics) Stunts Computer generated images Sound effects
  37. Part 2 – Plenary First lets discuss our findings… 1. How and where does the camerawork and editing create the Action Adventure genre within this clip? 2. How and where does the mise en scene and sound create the Action Adventure genre within this clip?
  38. The Action Adventure genre is created though this clip by the use of a variety of camera techniques. The first example is the use of close up shots of ……… The editing identified the clip as part of the Action Adventure genre because ……… one example of this is ………… The Action Adventure genre is created though this clip by the mise en scene. The overall atmosphere of the scene is one of ………… this is created through the characters costumes which ………. The sound reinforces the Action Adventure genre by using both diegetic and non diegetic sound to create a sense of ………….. One example of this was when ………
  39. Trailers Sometimes the best part of an action adventure film is the trailer! A trailer is an advert for a film that gives the audience a taste of what to expect from the film Starter Characters, Locations, Narrative themes, Time setting E.g. Character – the man dressed as a Bat fits the genre because he rescues people, this suggests he is a hero. Heroes are a convention of the action adventure genre. Paired Task: Watch the trailer and try to identify the conventions of the action adventure genre that it uses. Use the headings below to structure your answers.
  40. Moving Image Textual Analysis Individual Task: Watch the trailer. Answer the question... Question: Explain two ways the trailer fits into the action adventure genre. Use examples from the extract. [10 marks] To answer this question you could write about the characters, locations, narrative themes and the events. Try to give 2 clear and detailed examples which explain how the clip fits the action adventure genre.
  41. Taking Notes in the Exam Characters Events Locations Narrative Themes Notes should be brief (not full sentences) and act as a reminder when answering the question. The answer may combine different elements. Hero- male, strong and skilful (he is a good driver and beats up 2 henchmen) Villain – very clever (he is controlling advanced computers), is bald and has a scar so is not attractive. A car chase, a fight, shooting, crashes, escape The hero is escaping from the villain with the prize. People are in danger. Beautiful woman the hero is escaping with (romance). Remember media Language: Hero = Protagonist, Villain = Antagonist, generic convention, hybrid genre, sub-genre, iconography.
  42. The second question (worth 20 marks) requires you to write about the ways the technical elements fit the action adventure genre. These include; soundtrack, mise en scene, editing and camerawork. Question 2:
  43. Media Studies file divider list. 1. Introduction to Media Studies 2. B322 Textual Analysis – Action Adventure Film 3. B321– Essay 4. B321 - Practical 5. B321 - Evaluation 6. B324– Research and development 7. B324– Practical work 8. B324 - Evaluation 9. B325 Television Comedy 10.Glossaries

Notas del editor

  1. Clip from Terminator 2 – arrival of T2000 – analyse camera work.
  2. Introduce camera movement – track, pan, zoom, tilt, steadycam,
  3. Dissolve: Example ID4 opening scene. Wipe: Star Wars transition from Fade: Paralell editing: BTTF 3 opening cuts from Marty in the car to Doc on the clock tower.
  4. Use Raiders clip for asynchronous sound use
  5. Spy Who Loved Me opening sequence BTTF3 Opening sequence from 55sec to 2min 11 sec Independence Day from 40 sec to 3min 54 sec Star Trek First Contact from 2min 40sec to 4min 32 sec Star Wars From 1min 45 to 4min 37 sec
  6. Pt 1 plenary should identify sequences, locations, characters, events. Pt 2 should not require students to cover every shot but they should identify shots and edits of significance and techniques that are used to build and break tension, identify heroes and villains or help the audience understand the story (use of close ups or establishing shots). When dealing with mise en scene and sound students should identify the time period and what this suggests about the action and the ‘world’ of the film. Diegetic and non diegetic sound should be identified as well as terms such as ambient sound, all of which should be analysed in relation to the conventions of the genre.
  7. More able students should be able to deal with multiple headings but less able students should focus on just one or two, supplementing their notes during the feedback session.