Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Eval Q5 Mode of address

Q5: How did you attract/address your audience?
  • You could combine this with Q4, and answer both as one.
  • The YouTube annotation tool is worth considering for a relatively quick but effectively new video
  • The two terms are linked but 'attract' can also signify marketing or production practices which aid distribution while 'address' can signify the more micro-level decisions (dialogue, costume, setting, editing etc)
  • Precise semiotic analysis is crucial, so make sure your 'use of examples' is precise and well illustrated 
  • There is a lot of relevant theory you can apply - good exam practice! - eg male gaze theory; uses and gratifications (audience); narrative enigma and other narrative theories ... and obviously semiotics, to name a few. You could explore web 2.0 issues/theory too.
The YouTube annotation tool is a convenient way to generate one of your unique Eval videos!

some examiners may be unfamiliar with this, so make sure you take a screen shot of selecting the annotations (toggling to 'on') to highlight the need to do so!!!
You can find lots of guides on this, though it is fairly intuitive, such as this one:

Here's an example of the tool being used, from Millie's 2013 AS blog - you need to go into settings to switch annotations to ON (default off):

This is nothing more than the final cut with optional annotations added.

Here's an example I produced to provide feedback on a rough cut:

They're not really opposites, but 'attract' has some connotations of marketing/production practices which lead to the prospect of distribution, and address more siginifies the micro elements of media language used to communicate an appropriate reading to your audience: slang, setting, music, framing the protagonist etc. They overlap, but you can think of it like this...

Consider the active steps that might have helped promote and gain publicity for, awareness of, your film.

Attracting an aud doesn't just mean using glamorous actors! How did you publicise, promote your film? Did you engage in viral marketing, releasing entertaining snippets during production? Teaser clips? Preview screenings with a sample target audience (perhaps hoping that they'd generate more publicity through word-of-mouth, as well as providing key feedback on what was/wasn't working for the target aud)? Behind-the-scenes featurettes? Interactive blog features? What social media did you use? Use screenshots from FB (just ensure you protect any personal info!!!), Twitter etc, + from YouTube showing comments/no. of views (you can include my channel too for this).

When thinking about attracting an aud in these terms, you're also talking about how you engaged or interacted with your audience - don't just say 'we did a company blog', detail how you updated it, types of content, and evidence if possible hits on YouTube from this, or responses to a poll (its not too late to use FB to whip up some last-minute poll answers!)

Here's a great example of a post on interacting with the potential audience/getting feedback. Don't be afraid to criticise yourselves for not doing this enough ... OR the social media itself for potentially generating superficial feedback!

There is overlap here with representations; part of the mode of address is who you chose to portray sympathetically (protagonists) and negatively (antagonists). The nitty gritty detail of HOW precisely you did this (ie, specific denotation) is key.

A good starting point, one you will have blogged on from existing films: how you framed (and communicated to the audience) who the central protagonist is - point-of-view shots, central framing, angles...

Here's a few more points you could consider:

Have you used narrative enigma to draw in and 'hook' your audience?
Have you used humour (perhaps a false scare)?
What knowledge would a viewer need to follow your preferred reading?
Have you employed regional accents, dialect? Slang [aka 'teen skatz'; give specific egs!]?
Remember: representations are relevant here - briefly note how your choices here touch on your audience.
Presumably you've provided the audience with a 'priviliged pov' (they can see more than any single character can; s-rev-s is one common eg, but also opening est. shots), but perhaps you've included specific pov shots (or others, eg tracking) to signify the protagonist? Are we encouraged to identify and/or sympathise with one particular character (perhaps they're on screen first/more often; we get their povs?)
Is there any focus on the body? Laura Mulvey, a feminist critic, argued that audiences are typically positioned as male; the camera lingering on a female body positions us as a male, heterosexual viewer.
Have you used specific genres of music?
Have you used sound to lead the audience, but (espec for horror) also as an example of genre signifiers which much of your target audience might enjoy? Which other genre signifiers have you used?
Have you employed gore or (within the limitations of a school production) sexual content to attract an aud (refer back to the male gaze)?
Have you used intertextuality? (references to existing texts, eg posters within a room you've shot in; character names - if you want to explore some theory, this is an example of postmodernism)
You can AND SHOULD add some self-critique: 'here we tried to ... but this wasn't completely successful'

As with most of the Eval, you should be able to utilise material from earlier in your blog for this. There are various posts on this topic (eg your franchise research), and links lists, plus material on the romcom, horror and BritCinema blogs. Here's just a few you could benefit from revisiting: using forums; The Crazies + its marketing strategy; the 80s/retro boom; ElmSt/remakes; treatments; Being Human + using teen characters to appeal to teens; evidencing/assessing aud feedback thru vids; online views of your work; Polldaddy; online slasher sitcom Holliston; slasher franchise task; researching recent horror egs (+ presenting as vid); promo page for cheapo slashercasting + creativity; critics v pop culture; posters, DVD sleeve etc; IGS work screened at film fest; BoxOfficeMojo; ... [ALL egs FROM THIS BLOG ONLY; MANY MORE ON DBHORROR + BRITCINEMA BLOGS; UPDATED 8TH APRIL 2012]

ROAM: Good detail on engaging with the audience through social media (YouTube, company blog, Facebook etc), and YouTube's annotation tool used to good effect.
CHRIS: A quirky approach: overwriting the existing audio with a music track and editing in titles to make the points (if this idea tempts you you need to be careful you're upload isn't blocked on copyright grounds; if in doubt [search for the track on YouTube see if any uploads are blocked] upload a 2nd copy to Vimeo and embed that). Arguably needs more detail tho.
ROB: You may notice the annotations are on a rough cut, NOT the final cut - you want to avoid this (just have written/typed annotations ready to add to your final cut).
BECKY: Again, YouTube annotation used! I do think its useful to discuss how you attracted an aud using new media (see below) as well, which isn't done in this one or some of the other egs above.
TIP: REMEMBER, YOU CAN THINK OF + REFER TO MULTIPLE AUDIENCES. There's always a secondary audience to consider as well as the main, primary audience.

You could use concepts such as 'mode of address': 'a term used by semioticians which proposes that media texts address its intended audience in a particular way, establishing a relationship between the producer of the text and the media’s audience.' (source) 'as Sonia Livingstone puts it, 'texts attempt to position readers as particular kinds of subjects through particular modes of address' (Livingstone 1994, 249)' (source)

There is also 'interpellation' (Louis Althusser), by which when we get engrossed in a text we begin to take on the values contained within it.

Mulvey's male gaze is mentioned above.

The uses and gratifications theory is extremely useful ... can also be applied to your exam Q on British Cinema, so well worth learning. See this post, and the audience theory links list on that blog, plus this one which applies the theory to magazine ads. This one is on music videos, but should help provide ideas on how to discuss audience.

Narrative enigma and other narrative theories can be usefully applied too

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