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Unit 6: Critical Approaches to Media Products (Task 2)

Understand how media producers create products for specific audiences.

Chandra Khan

on 22 June 2014

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Transcript of Unit 6: Critical Approaches to Media Products (Task 2)

Unit 6: Critical Approaches Task 2
Wall-E: Codes and Conventions
Symbolic: The use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) and different media techniques appeals to a wide market along with Wall-e’s characteristic feature- his big eyes which resembles that of a child makes them both appear innocent along with the voice/sound that is used to portray Wall-e as it too reflects the characteristic of a child.

Technical: The camera work in this trailer uses conventional techniques; most often camera work used is when they place Wall-e (subject) in the centre on the frame- sometimes ranging from mid-close-up to long-shot at eye-level in order to reinforce the audiences’ attention on Wall-e and the things that occur in the video clip. There is also a lot of attention of details to Wall-e’s eyes as it reflects that of a child to portray his innocent and good-natured personality – there are a lot of extreme-close-up of his eyes (which is evident in this movie trailer.

Carrie: Selection of Content
Words: In the very beginning of the movie trailer, we are already drawn into the mystery of the story as a shot of a house shows up, then a plain black screen with these words ‘In Every Neighbourhood There Is One Family…With A Secret…No One Talks About’. This already captivates the audience’s attention as the words are presented in white (instead of red –to represent blood) to make them focus on the lingering meaning of the words and what they represent. Then these words ‘What If You Realised You Had The Power…To Change Everything’ reinforces the viewers’ attention on the images that works in prefect harmony with the words to display to the viewer of Carrie’s telekinetic powers and the imminent threat that it holds.

Images: The images works well with the words to give meaning as well as it gives significance to each sequences because they are interlinked and have relevance to each message that it sends out to the audience.

Wall-E: Selection of Content & Construction of Content
Colours: The colours in this trailer is to reflect over-consumerism which mounts the scale of the earth so represent that the colours are quite dull and dusty which continues to be the same throughout the entire film (and trailer)-in particular of scenes of earth, which is unordinary for a Disney/Pixar film as they often feature bright and vibrant colour palette to reflect the happiness and cheerfulness of the atmosphere in their films. However the message here is bigger than any other films because it’s trying to send a message about caring for the environment and the importance of nature.

Fonts: The font is simple and ordinary which continues to be the same until ‘Wall-E’ pops up in a bigger font size in capital letters but in the same font face with a characteristic feature that reflects Wall-s’ personality- the ‘E’ in a red circle resembles the character’s unique quality of developing a personality and good-natured soul.

Selection of Content
Words: The words presented in this trailer consists of only few words which introduces Wall-E which is harmonized with images displayed on screen for the viewers to understand the meaning behind each words and messages it sends. Each word and sentences ingeniously captures the targeted audiences’ attention and gives indication to an impending adventure that’s coming his way which is known to the audiences’ but not to the actual character himself, Wall-E, which also adds to the mystery of where his journey takes him.

Images: The images conveyed in this movie trailer make the audience aware of the affect humans have over the planet as in the trailer the earth is covered in dust of consumerism and products. The images are in perfect harmony with the words and sounds presented in the trailer as it gives meaning to each segment that is displayed in the trailer.

There are other aspects of attracting children and adults to animated film, for example, Wall-E has a distinctive characteristic which often features in Disney and Pixar movies. His big round eyes are mesmerising to children as it captivities the audience’s attention on the character as well as reflect Wall-e’s innocent personality which is often associated with children as they are similar in terms of innocence and good-natured soul. Not only that but the fairy-tale narrative format and its representation presented in modern sci-fi appeals to young audiences because it allows them to make that connection which makes it a children film.

Carrie (2013) is a remake of classic horror film Carrie (1974) adapted from the same title by Stephen King novel. This drama-horror remake is aimed at teenagers and young adults, along with the adults who had first seen the original film in the 1970’s. This cult horror classic portrays the life of Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), a previous home-school girl who starts going to high school due the authorities. She is an introvert and an outcast who seems to be a subject of abuse as she is frequently targeted due to her individuality and upbringing. With this continuous harassment from her peers and her extremely religious mother, Margaret White (Julianne Moore), who punishes her for her ‘sins’ and shelters her from the outside world.

All these elements and pivotal moments (when a terrible trick is played on her on the night of her prom) soon releases her telekinetic powers, which unleashing her wrath and anger towards to those who did her wrong. This film is rated R due to its bloody violence, violent scenes, disturbing images, strong language and some sexual content which are some of the ingredients that goes into making a horror film and distributing it towards its intended market audience.
Wall-E (2008) is a family animation-adventure tale about a garbage collecting robot who is the lone surviving manufactured garbage collecting robot left on earth after it was abandon due to overpopulation and widespread consumerism that buried the world in trash (which is evident in this movie trailer). It expresses the importance of environmentalism and nature which is directed towards both young children and adults as they can essentially spread the message across to save the environment to avoid future disaster -which explains the dustiness that is presented in this film trailer. Wall-E goes on a space journey when a mysterious spacecraft arrives on earth and embarks on a quest of love and friendship which are both appealing to the younger and older audiences.

Wall-E intended target audience are children aged below 13, however this film does not only target young children but older audiences too, as there are inter-textual reference to a hit musical film ‘Hello Dolly! (1964). Audiences born in this era or those who knows of this song ‘Put on Your Sunday Clothes’ may make older audiences feel nostalgic which makes Wall-E audiences diverse because it attracts older audiences as children would not recognise this song. Whereas older audiences can through the uses and gratification theory inserted in a two-step flow theory can identify this song through self-identification as adults from this era would have has heard of this song at the time of its release so they will be able to make connections and understand the meaning behind this song which makes Wall-E audience diverse and mainstream.

Wall-E is produced by Pixar Animation Studios and owned by Disney and directed by Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo). Wall-E has various elements which make it appealing to a variety of audiences, for example, Wall-e’s quest for love when he meets the ‘one’ is attracting to both audiences because people enjoys to see young love blossom and see them overcome obstacles along the way. The themes of romance, science-fiction and comedy-slapstick humour makes it appealing to both adults and children.
Sound/Music: The sounds that feature in this movie trailer are the sounds that feature in the movie; robotic/mechanical sounds feature (when Wall-E compresses products), movements have sounds -due to the lack of dialogue for robots, each movement and vocals have characteristic to reflect their personality and along with other normal sounds that’s e.g. light bulb flash, car sound alarm, fire extinguisher sounds etc. The music choice in the movie trailer is a popular one and it reflects a sense of adventure that Wall-E is about to embark on (as seen in the trailer).
Ben Burtt interview about creating sounds for Wall-E:

Sequences: The sequence in this movie trailer is quite clear and easy to follow; caption reads ‘Meet WALL-E’, smooth cuts of Wall-e gathering and compressing products, placing the product in the pile, another caption read ‘A robot…with a lot of time on his hands’, his relationship with a cockroach, and then snippets of his day and the objects he finds, after this he sees a red light which he follows-caption reads ‘After 700 years alone…things are about to change’. He’s right in a centre- about to reach for the red light while others are circling around him, next video clip we see three bright lights coming down where he is standing, he looks up and tries to escape it – next we see a foot and then a body of a spacecraft. Caption reads the title of the film ‘WALL-E’ in capital letters, then we see the spacecraft leave the earth’s atmosphere with Wall-e teetered to it and then a final caption reads the date of the movie’s release ‘06/27/08’. The editing is quite longer than any other Disney films as there are slower cuts in order to allow the viewer to follow the story clearly.
Narratives/Voice-overs: The only featured voice-over in this trailer is Wall-e’s when the caption of the movie title shows, he says ‘Wall-e’ in a high pitch voice with a robotic sound and the high pitch voice resembles that of a child which attaches meaning to it because children can respond well with Wall-e while adults makes connections of Wall-e personality which is innocent as a child.

Layout: First it shows certificate signs, Disney (as the distributer), Pixar (as film partner and producer of the film), a caption ‘Meet WALL-E’, snippets of video clips, another caption‘ A robot…with a lot of time on his hands’, more video clips, another caption reads ‘After 700 years alone…things are about to change’, more video clips, another caption ‘WALL-E’, a video clip and then a final caption which reads the date of the movie release.

Captions: The following captions are in the same font face and font size ‘‘Meet WALL-E’, ‘A robot…with a lot of time on his hands’, ‘After 700 years alone…things are about to change’, ‘WALL-E’and‘06/27/08’. The only differences is Wall’s name which is in capital letters so as to stand out and for the viewers to notice and when the title of the film shows, there is a red circle around the letter ‘E’ which reflects Wall-s’ personality and characteristic feature.

Carrie: Selection of Content & Construction of Content
Colours: To represent the horror genre, most video clips are dark, for example the scenes with Carrie and her mother are in dark-lit rooms in the house which signifies the genre as scenes often takes place in secluded and dark locations. There are of course colours of red to reflect the genre and bloody scenes are a necessity of any horror films therefore, it is evident that it will too showcase in the movie trailer to allow the audience know what the film offers.

Fonts: The font face and font size stays consistently the same as well as the words which are represented in capital letters to give some significance to it however when the actors names appear they are in a much bigger font size and when the film title shows it is not only bigger in font size but the colour is laced with blood which adds even more significance to it as it aims to leave an imprinting message on the viewer.

Carrie: Construction of Content & Codes and Conventions
Layout: First it shows certificate signs, then we see a house, followed by captions that sets the tone of the film through the movie trailer, there’s voice-over of the mother singing over the video clips where the mother is working and a door that zooms closer and close each time, next we see distributors Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Screen Gems, followed by more video clips that showcases Carrie’s situation at school and at home. We see more video clips of the continuous harassment from her peers and her mother – which all produced her to slowly unleash her telekinetic powers, there are more captions with more video clips and then finally see snippets of the pivotal scene which foreshadowed the impending doom in the earlier video clips. The movie trailer ends with horrific scenes and the movie title which is laced with blood which is then followed by the other information about the film which is in white while movie date release is in red to stand out for the viewer to take notice of it, and then it finally ends with a call-line to excite fans and audiences about the movie. This gets audiences involved in the movie as well as letting them participant in the Carrie campaign to spread the word about the movie and to find out ‘whathappendednexttoCarrie’.
Sound/Music: There are frequent sounds of people screaming and shouting which signifies the genre. The music however in this movie trailer makes more of an impact on the video clips as towards the end of the trailer, the beat of the music to the images works in a perfect harmony and creates an impression of the film on the audience.

Sequences: The sequences are interlinked with relevant words, images and music to give meaning to each frame that it used in the movie trailer and aids to create a suspenseful and gripping story. Each element gives meaning and sends a message to the audience, almost predicating the impending doom (as presented in the trailer), as we get to see her continuous harassment from her peers and her mother. These video clips are sequenced in a way that almost foreshadows pivotal scenes in the film which both excites and shocks the viewer because we see her unleash her wrath on those who did her wrong. The impending doom is also reflected by the pace of the video clips as towards the end of the movie trailer the pace gets faster and faster to signify the mood that is created in video clips, allowing the viewer with only few snippets of her wrath and revenge.
Narrative/Voice-overs: The voice-over in the very beginning of the movie trailer displays the characteristics of each character as we come to know that the mother (who sings and recites a passage from the Bible) is a very religious women and video clips that shows -while there’s a voice-over of the mother singing, suggests to the viewer that there’s a sort of demonic presence as we see the doors damn loudly with her girl screaming to be let out.

Captions: The following captions are in the same font face, font size and colour ‘In Every Neighbourhood There Is One Family…With A Secret…No One Talks About’ and ‘What If You Realised You Had The Power…To Change Everything’. However although the title of the film is in the same font face and colour, the difference is the it is in bigger font size and laced with blood which reflects the genre really well.

Symbolic: The sequences of each words, images and sound works to create meaning and showcases each character well, and in particular Carrie as she is seen as a victim to abuse by her peers and he mother. And as seen in the movie trailer we get to her develop as a character along with her telekinetic powers as she really embraces her newfound powers and the freedom it gives her. This gives her power to breakout of her shell and gives her more authority while clashes with her mother, however we get to see the impending doom as each video clips and sequences foreshadows the climatic ending.

Technical: The camera works are quite conventional and fitting to the genre as most of the camera work (as seen in this movie trailer) uses the same camera shots and size to reinforce the audiences’ attention on the character e.g. close-up of Carrie’s eyes makes the viewer see her vulnerability with a message that she is limited due to her surroundings however towards the end of the movie trailer we get to see mid-shots to wide-shots of her using her power and releasing her wrath on those who wronged her, which makes her appear powerfully and dominate than the previous clips before she acknowledged her powers when she appeared to look frail, weak and inferior to those around her.
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