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How does your media product represent particular social groups?
An Abuser (antagonist)Victim who is being abusedAn ambitious writer, passionate about her career
How did we represent the antagonist? In our thriller, one social group which is being represented is gender. The antagonist in films is stereotypically represented as a man. Therefore I stuck by this stereotype and used a man for the villain of my thriller.One way in which we represented the antagonist is through costume. Villains typically wear black clothes, which connotes ‘evil. This is foreseen in my thriller, for the villain is wearing a black suit with an additional red shirt. The black clothes are reflective of his ‘evil’ actions. Black can also connote power which is an important concept because men are stereotypically seen as being dominant force and more capable of such atrocities. This is particularly significant in my thriller because the man is in fact the one in control for he is abusing this innocent girl. Furthermore, the red shirt symbolizes danger ,which effectively represents the man as capable of committing sinister crimes. The audience can envision that the girl is in some sort of danger. The use of the suit suggests professionalism, wealth and high class. The audience then get a feeling that this man potentially has a good reputation in the outside world and no one suspects him of being an abuser. This is much like ‘Dexter’. The audience witness that Dexter is a serial killer, yet other characters aren’t aware of his private life because he is a detective and seen as belonging to a Higher social class. Dexter is wearing a smart suit just like the antagonist in my film (top left hand corner of the screen), accentuating the idea that no one suspects them of committing crimes. Moreover, black is a mystical colour which is significant in our thriller. The fact that our character is mainly dressed in black reflect how he is this unknown figure to the wider world and that no one knows what happens behind closed doors.
The antagonist is represented as aggressive through the type of shots. There is a high angle of the man’s legs and feet, showing him walking. The fact that there is a whole shot dedicated to this movement can represent rough nature because legs too can be symbolic of power. The fact that his face also isn’t showing also makes him appear as this mystical figure which evokes fear from an audience.There are also extreme close-ups of his eyes and mouth. In ‘Dexter’ the director uses a series of extreme close-up shots to make the man appear as more sinister. In my thriller the use of the ECU of the man’s eyes triggers fear. The eyes are symbolic as being a window to your soul and because the man’s eyes are blue, one can link this to the ‘evil eye’ which is usually blue.
How did we represent the victim?In films I have watched involving a victim of abuse or rape, I observed that the victim is usually a girl. Therefore, in my production I wanted to conform to this stereotypical image, making the victim a female. The girl would be represented as being more frail, weak and susceptible to abuse.We represented this girl as being young, perhaps 18 years of age. We represented this through the use of costume. Her dress is revealing and short and looks like the sort of dress a teenager would own. As a female victim of rape, she is also barefoot and sitting on a single blanket on the floor which indicates that she is being abused. Additionally, the audience will see shed items surrounding her which indicates that she is isolated from the outside world. This particular setting essentially represents her as a helpless victim.We also represented the girl as the victim because statistics prove that it is usually females who are victims of such abuse. We represented Olivia as the victim, using appropriate make-up. We used mostly red, purple and black eye shadow to form a bruise on her neck as an indicator that she has been abused. However, we also had to make her look tired and worn out in order to show that she has been trapped for a long time and that she has been severely abused. We used red eye shadow and Vaseline under and over her eyes to achieve this worn out look.
Olivia also had to act as if she was abused in order to represent this victim. She represented herself in this way through facial expression and body movement. She was moving about quite a lot creating an uncomfortable, agitated feel for the audience. Rapid movements can also indicate how she fails to sit still because of her fear. She could also be looking for an escape route. Olivia also kept a consistent fearful expression on her face, which is further enhanced when the man is present. This fact that she is scared when the man approaches her, indicates that he is abusing her. When the man approaches her she also looks down which could portray her fear.There are various close-up shots, which effectively capture Olivia’s fearful expression, representing her as a victim of abuse. A long shot is used to establish the situation she is. Through this kind of shot the audience can see that she is placed in a shed which highlights that she is isolated. They also see her slumped posture and how she is sitting on a single blanket, showing that she is trapped. The medium close- ups show the Victim’s bruised neck as well as her fearful expression.
In order to represent Olivia as the victim and Chaim as the abuser, I felt that it would be better if they were physically very different in order to portray their differences in power.1) Physical differences: Olivia was petit with a slim Chaim had a larger frame and was taller than Olivia which reinforces build, representing her his power over her as a man. young age. Her physicality portrayed her as the more vulnerable, weaker character when compared to the man who was in complete contrast of her physically.Another way of showing their differences in status is through the use of different levels.2) Levels: Olivia was presented However, Chaim was standing up and therefore on a high level. The on a low level because she fact that he was standing and Olivia was sitting effectively reflects was sitting that he is the one in power. down, representing her helpless state. Chaim acting as the abuser is holding a photo of the victim in his hands. The3)Depth of field: Through this camera is at a high angle looking down at the photo he is holding showing that technique we were able to it is his point of view. At first his hand holding the photo is in focus, with the capture the points of view victim blurred out in the backward. This represents the man as sinister and from the victim and the hints that he has dark plans. Then the girl comes into focus, with the photo abuser in the same blurred. The audience then clearly sees that she is fearful towards the man moment. because she is rubbing her arms together and breathing heavily which is a sign of fear. The depth of field is effective is representing the two different mindsets.
The physical and biological differences between Olivia and Chaim represents the theme of abuse. Firstly, the fact that the victim is a girl and represented as weak, whereas the abuser is a man and represented as powerful and sinister.Secondly, the man has a larger frame in comparison to the victim, showing that she is the vulnerable character,Thirdly, she is sat down in a slumped position, whereas the man is walking towards ger, indicating his power over her.
Only glimpses of the abuser is seen from the writer’s perspective because it is her story. We showed this from overlapping the images of the writer writing and the man in her thriller novel. In the story, the man wasn’t fully shown, it was only certain aspects of him. For instance, his eyes, mouth and legs. However, in the end this fictitious character becomes real and placed in front of the writer. The audience then recognizes his features from her story, realising that he is the character of her novel.
The modern day costumes from the man, victim and the writer show that it is set in modern times.For example, the man’s suit is a typical outfit of todays business men.The young girl’s dress is typical of today’s teenagers because it is short and revealing.The writers clothes are casual clothes which are typically worn by people during the day in our time, such as jeans with a nice shirt.