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FM2: Producers and Audiences
Transcript of FM2: Producers and Audiences
Explain Richard Dyer's Star Theory
Discuss the effect of stars upon films and audiences Who are your favourite stars?
Why? Is it the subject matter of the films they star in or the attitudes they put forward through their characters?
Have the stars you enjoyed changed over the years. Why have these changes taken place.
(5 minutes!) The first film star came about in 1910.
She was called Florence Lawrence - but was known as the Biograph Girl
Before this time studios were reluctant to recognise actors as keeping them in obscurity allowed them to keep their pay relatively low.
She was the first film star to be credited and once she was other film studios followed suit with actors and actresses making a variety of appearances. Florence Lawrence was made famous through the films of a director called D.W Griffiths. Griffiths was one of the first Hollywood directors to convince Hollywood studios to make a feature film. Economic Power Wrote a book called Stars in 1979 Answer ONE of the following questions...
How important are film franchises for producers and audiences? STARS FM2: Producers and Audiences His Breakthrough epic was called "Birth of a Nation". Whilst at times showing great directorial flare the film was also deeply rooted in racist beliefs. This epic cemented Griffiths as the first Hollywood star director One of the star's from DW Griffith's films was a woman called Mary Pickford.
After gaining uncredited popularity in films she signed up to work with Adolf Zucker and negotiated a contract that gave her some control over production.
By 1916 she had negotiated a $500 a week contract. A high amount compared to the industry standard of $5-$10 A young English Comedian was scouted in 1916 by the American film industry. His famous act playing a comedic tramp garnered him a wide dedicated audience. Fed up with the way his films were being made Chaplin soon managed to gain control of the production of his own films. This allowed him to make films in his own particular style getting the most out of his performances. Douglas Fairbanks was another favourite actor during the silent film era. He was famous for his roles as Zorro and Robin Hood.
He was seen as the first big male star of Hollywood.
He was a friend of Chaplin and was married to Mary Pickford. Creating the first mega famous Hollywood couple UNITED ARTISTS In 1919 these four stars banded together to create United Artists. A production company that would guarantee them freedom and artistic license Salary Profit Fame Typecasting Developed the idea that viewer's perception of a film is heavily influenced by the perception of its stars. Argued that Stars were constructions made out of a range of materials The Real Person How much do we really know about the real person and how much does that matter?
Dyer would argue that the real person is inconsequential to a film for we only know about them through other media products Economic Capital/Commodity Originally used to entice audiences and provided a readily identifiable image.
This gives the star image a great deal of power and after the decline of the studio system stars were able to control this power.
It can be argued that stars are now the controlling powers in Hollywood.
They also provide an insurance value to producers. Role, Character and Performance Stars can supply production values through their acting.
Dyer identified three relational possibilities... Cases where the character makes "selective use" of a star's persona cases where the character and star are a "perfect fit" cases where the star and character are mutually opposed or a "problematic fit" Impersonation vs Personification Image A star image is constructed through promotion, marketing, advertising, publicity, film roles and characters and crtical commentaries on those roles.
Image gives the star extra value and can be used as a feature to attract an audience.
This is known as trademark value Representation and Meaning Stars are people the audience can identify with, relate to and admire.
Stars may reflect the dominant ideologies of a time
Stars can signify polysemy ESSAY WRITING Treat it like an exam answer!
At very LEAST 500 words How important are cinemas to film?