Media Aesthetics 260 Final Exam Study Guide
Media Aesthetics 260 Final Exam Study Guide ENG260
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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Talia A. Lubin on Sunday March 15, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to ENG260 at University of Oregon taught by Dr. Anthony Hayt in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 279 views. For similar materials see Media Aesthetics in Foreign Language at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 03/15/15
1 Animation a TermsConventions vi vii viii Realisticnaturalism pushes animation towards authentic representations of life Ex Snow White s movements being rotoscoped from the movements of a reallife baHe na Abstraction doesn t necessarily try to emulate natural images The essence of cartoons Flattened perspectives abstractnonexistent backgrounds primary colors just two or three starkly drawn character outlines limited animation not graceful Ex Gerald McBoingBoing Technicolor technology Copyrighted way of developing film for high levels of color saturation Celluloid animation 1914 groundbreaking process in which animation was drawn on a clear piece of celluloid and then placed over and moved along a static background image Drastically reduced production time and made animation feasible Obtaining rights to use the patented tech was extremely expensive Ex The Flinstones Scooby Do etc CGI Computer Generated Technology 1980 s new computer generated method used for creating animation Ex Tron Keyframes The star frame and finish frame of an animation Onionskins 2D animation technique in which the animator can see several frames at once Animator can change an image based on the previous image in the sequence Tweeningtween frames Frames between the keyframes Show the movementanimation b PeopleCorporations iv v vi c Films i ii iii d History Earl Hurd pioneering animatordirector who invented celluloid animation John Bray animating partner of Hurd Helped to put a lock on cel animation through patents Walter Disney Prominent American animator and founder of the Disney Company Used cel animation to make first significant sound cartoon Steamboat Willie Windsor McKay newspaper cartoonist who created animated film Gertie The Disney Company founded 1923 leader and innovator in American animation industry UPA United Productions of America Disney competitor founded 1941 by striking Disney artists Championed abstract animation Steamboat Willie 1928 first significant sound cartoon Set a standard for synching sound with animation Made Disney leading producer of animation for the 30 s Gertie 1914 Seven minute long animated film One of the earliest animated films comprised of over 10000 hand drawn images Created by Windsor McKay Everything Will Be OkI Am So Proud of YouIt s Such a Beautiful Day 2012 Don Hertzfeldt Animation really began in the early 20th century Extremely grueling manual work that involved intensive hand drawing To produce a lowquality film of 1620 fps a single minute could require up to 1200 individual hand drawings e Questions to Consider i Does the scene tend more towards naturalism or abstraction What is the effect of that on the meaning of the scene ii What specific elements align the scene more with abstraction or naturalism Genre story type that employs similar topics plot structures and character types It is the type of story told a Six Main Genres in Classical Film Theory According to Hayt don t worry as much about the details of these just know what the six classical genres are and be able to list them More detailed information on them is available in the lecture notes i Comedy ii Western iii Melodrama also considered a mode iv Musicals v Horror vi Crime b Modes how a story is told i Noir noir means dark or black flexibly defined by time period aesthetic and world view Influenced by delayed disillusionment of1930 s America as well as the frustrations of WWII and postWWII society 1 First real rise of the antihero 2 Stylistically influenced by German Expressionistic style 3 Overall darklit for night Darkness about subject matterhumanity shown as well as aesthetic Obliquevertical lines rather than true horizontal Tightly controlled cinematics instead of actor motion A LOT of rain ALL the time 4 Nostalgic and romantic narration about a lost past set against a predetermined fate characterized by hopelessness Use of voiceover 5 Noir tropes a The detective disillusioned with social order lives by his own morals sometimes an innocent who gets caught in a scheme and is trying to get out of it femme fatale seems to need help but ends up ensnaring hero in a plot that s his undoing Often set in direct contrast to good girl city as a character stagnation characters aren t hopeful for positive changeupward mobility ii Melodrama emotional excess Family melodrama family as the motivating force Femalemale melodrama linked to romance and family and questions of masculinity c TermsConventions i Relies on iconography or image patterns that have cultural meaning light vs dark a cowboy hat a motorcycle etc ii Archetypes symbols embodying a specific value Ex American motorcycle rider rebellious selfdetermination values of manifest destiny etc iii Antihero Hero that the viewer roots for but some or many of the hero s actions are outside of what would be considered good iv Neo Noir Films that take many things out of noir handbook but update them Ex The Matrix Blade Runner etc d Films e History i Blue Velvet breaks out of the noir mode by maintaining a streak of cheesy hopefulness throughout the film to the point that at the end it is offputting and the viewer kind of wishes everything had gone badly like in a classic noir film Genre has historically been used to help studios market their films quotBlahblah is the best action film out right now etc Relies on combination of convention and innovation to make something familiar but with a new twist Often structured around cultural stories and myths that tell some important societal momenttruth Noir was thought to end by the 1940 s for the most part Was revived in the New Hollywood era a bit Taxi Driver and then there weren t too many after that for a while Now we have neo noir f Questions to Consider 3 Narrative How does a film break out of or go against the conventions of its genre What is the effect or purpose of this a TermsConventions vi vii viii xi xii xiii xiv Classical narrative film generally same as Classical Hollywood narrative form Centers on onefew central characters who move the plot forward with causeand effect logic If more than one central character they tend to work together as a group 1 Plot develops in a linear chronology based on specific goals 2 Employs a third person narrative to a realistic effect Postclassical Narrative doesn t completely break the rules of classical narrative but often bends them perhaps goals or causeeffect are unclear or the focus is on a multitude of characters Alternative narrative often seen in various New Wave movements Deviates from or challenges a linear narrative Undermines the centrality of a main character Questions reality of the diegetic world remember 9 the diegesis is the universe within the film takes place Character coherence the method by which we come to see a character as unique and generally consistent The character is constructed in a certain way but we also have to sort ofjudge those actions values and behaviors against what we understand as that character type Values character has some moral adherence that we identify with them Actions character s actions match the constructed personality Behaviors character reflects the norm of social and historical behaviors Divided character may subvert or embody contradictory examples of the above Doesn t have coherence Singular character unique complex character Has depth Character grouping relation of characters within a social structure of some kind Character types similar traits for characters that usually appear within similar story typesgenres Figurative types exaggerated figures that seems more like allegorical figuresabstractions Archetypes reflections of an abstract value like evil or good Stereotypes reduces characters to traits based on sociallyculturally defined groups 3 xv Character development xvi xvii 1 2 4 External change injury aging etc Internal change change in someone s morals values goals beliefs etc Personal growth Progressive development when a character improves in some socially sanctioned way Regressive development when character deteriorates in some way Patterns of Time 1 2 3 4 Linear sequential progression Can still include ellipses and crosscutting Deadline structure can still be linear but often has much more crosscutting Nonlinear flashbacks flashforwards cyclical time missing information Retrospective looking back from some diegetic present Uses flashbacks predominantly Ex Citizen Kane Narrative duration how long an amount of film time takes to elapse in relation to real time Narrativefrequency how many times something is shown in a film How often motifs happen Narrative space the social emotional or cultural relevance tied to settings a Impacts the characters and us in four ways historically ideologically psychologically and symbolically These often overlap with each other and work in conjunction b Ex Hitchcock loved to have things set in front of very large national monuments people running in front of the Jefferson memorial scenes under the Golden Gate Bridge etc Perspectives 1 2 First person generally uses voiceover or some other form of narration Third person restricted shows everything but only concerning a few characters generally from a perspective close to the characters Third person omniscient shows us everything important from any angle perspective Reflexive narrative selfconsciousness film that is aware it is a film and irony re genre style narrative etc Unreliable narration could be from an inconsistent character or simply a narrative structure that brings into question some or all of the film s facts Multiple narrations switches between several first person or restricted third person narrations think about Mulholland Drive Movies with multiple main characters Can be confusing for the audience 4 AvantGarde literally means quotin front of the guardadvance guard a TermsConventions 39 Used to describe innovativeexperimental peoplecreative works in regards to culture politics and art It s about pushing the boundaries of what is accepted Often associated with Art Cinema Experimental Film Independent Film or Underground Film Small production crewbudget Not conceived of with the purpose of being commercially viable vi b Films Goal subvertdenaturalize the status quo in some way Often political but not always Force audience to rethink preconceptions about cinema Poses questions about the role of the unconscious subjectivity and selfreflexivity Selfreflexivity calls into question or at least makes people aware of filmmaking itself through the use of techniques like contrapuntal sound and disjunctiveself reflexive editing Daisies 1966 Czechoslovak comedydrama writtendirected by V ra Chytilova Made with the support of the statesponsored film studio Follows two teenage girls both named Marie played by Jitka Cerhova and Ivana Karbanova who engage in strange pranks Innovativer filmed and released two years before the Prague Spring the film was labeled as quotdepicting the wantonquot by the Czech authorities and banned Meshes of the Afternoon 1943 Short experimental film directed by wifeand husband team Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid The film39s narrative is circular and repeats several motifs flower on a long driveway a key falling a door unlocked a knife in a loaf of bread a Grim Reaper like cloaked figure with a mirror for a face a phone off the hook and an ocean Surrealist film depicts a world in which it is more and more difficult to catch reality La Jet e 1963 French science fiction featurette by Chris Marker Constructed almost entirely from still photos it tells the story of a postnuclear war experiment in time travel 5 Documentaries truth on film a TermsConventions vi vii viii quotTruthquot A questionable assumptionconcept because there is nothing that we are going to see on film that is accidental or untouched Meaning that all film is manipulated in some way so it can only come so close to being truth Actualities Early films were simply short vignettes of everyday life Eg A train pulling into a station workers knocking a wall down etc Scenic Actualities from afar Animals plants people from other places around the world These were the beginning of ethnographic filmmaking Topicals News travel again often ethnographic or history many topicals were reenactments Nonfiction purports to offer supported fact visual scientific interview etc May have a story structure but these films are not created in the way that a fiction film would be Nonnarrative eschews a standard narrative as its organizational structure instead relying on lists repetition contrast or association The main focus of the documentary is not to tell a story It is to give the viewer facts of some sort Cumulative A catalogue of images or tableaus that don t tell a specific story but give an overall impression of a subject Contrasting A variation on cumulative the main point is presented through the contrasting of various images stories and events Used a lot for ethnographic filmmaking Developmental A nonnarrative structure that presents a progression of change through the facts presented Anything that shows some sort of developmental progress X xi b History i 6 Television Rhetorical Positions 1 2 Explorative attempts to Show the world as an impartial witness Interrogativeanalytical Based on QampA format Can be voiceover voice off camera voice on camera or combination of these things Persuasive Often combined with other forms attempts to convince a viewer of a specific stanceopinion ReflexivePerformative Calls attention to the filmmaking process or to the fact that all documentaries are tainted by production Selfreflexive Types of Documentary 1 2 3 10 Social Attention on some specific group Not necessarily political but can be Political iteration Explorescelebratesdemonizes some political cause Historical Not always political but driven to show some version of history Often tied to a specific historical figure Ethnographic Studies of various cultures of those outside of or at least underrepresented in Western culturehistory Doesn t have to be from some faroff land the point is to examine an underrepresented group Anthropological Explores cultures both living and extinct Cinema Verit and Direct Cinema Cinema of Truth a Can blur the line into fictional filmmaking b Generally considered a political form often confrontational addressing people where they live Ex Michael Moore s films Personal or Subjective Films concerned with individual peoples stories told by themselves Sort of autobiographical Reenactment Of questionable veracity these supposedly reenact on film an event that already happened Mockumentary Takes on the documentary form but has fake subjects with at least some of the crewproducers knowing that the project is fake Fake Documentary Completely fictional films staged as documentaries Eg The Office Parks and Rec Best in Show etc Totally fictional but set up as if it is a documentary Began with actualities and short simple recordings of everyday life events in the very early days of film The Lumiere Brothers in France were the principal advocates for this genre and also coined the term quotActualit squot a TermsConventions 39 Advertisements are the product television shows are the bait used to lure people in Production Company actually the company that makes whatever television programs WE see Wholesalers networks and syndicators who buy the programs Ex NBC bought Parks and Rec Retailers local stations your local NBC affiliate cable systems and Direct Broadcast Satellites DBS They are the interface between you and the wholesalers Advertisers target national regional and local audiences Mix of local and nationwide air for ad space that is divvied up so advertisers can buy appropriate time for their ads vi vii viii xi xii xiii Consumers Viewers Flow Theory that TV never starts and stops it is always continuously coming at you Even if you turn off the tv it is still always there you just have to turn the screen on to access the flow Further there is this notion that flow is inherently fragmented Programs advertisements and announcements change from minute to minute and content changes from channel to channel Segmentation Segmentation is the idea that these starts and stops and interruptions are in a lot of ways definitional to TV s structures Polysemy Semiology study of meaning Polysemy study of multiple meanings 1 In relation to TV polysemy indicates that at any given moment any number of different meanings can be found coming from either one TV program or TV as a whole Interactivity and agency The most sort of minimal version of this was simply a remote control interact with the TV by turning it off changing the station etc VCRs DVRs TiVO Video on demand streaming Producing and participation Internet feedback blogs vlogs webisodes online distribution Line Cutting Cutting it on the linegetting a rough cut of what the show is going to look like by selecting different cameras to record the action during shooting Syntagm TV term for scene b Modes of Production Single camera shooting Uses only one camera at a time to capture action Action is edited together all in postproduction Requires extensive preproduction planning including heavy script notes and storyboards Aesthetically more cinematic than multi camera shooting common for prime time dramas Ex Law and Order Curb Your Enthusiasm etc Multicamera Usually shot with three cameras but can vary First show to utilize threecamera setup was I Love Lucy Very fast in terms of production perfect for one day shooting Aesthetically more theatrical as if the actors are on a stage and the cameras are different positions in the audience Ex Monica and Chandler s apartment on Friends Very little if any camera movement involved c Television Narrative In regards to television Made for TV Movies are a perfect example of Classical HW style Exposition the who and the where Motivation why is the action happening Narrative enigma what drives the story main question of the plot of the film Will quotxquot happen v Clear cause and effect chain each scene creates a coherent chain of events vi Climax where we have the final meeting of the protagonist and antagonist and they fight over whether or not quotxquot will happen vii ResolutionD nouement all strings are tied up but in other types of narratives we can have what is called aperture meaning it is openended or not tied up Aperture is the opposite of the classical HW style d TV Series Selfexplanatory characters Don t need to have watched previous episodes to understand and enjoy the show Multiple protagonists Motivation At the beginning of a TV series episode everything is going to be in balance but then something happens to wreck that For instance someone breaks up with their romantic partner loses theirjob etc Single episode motivation iv Narrative Problematic constant question asked throughout the series while allowing for variation In Friends the only real question is whether or not the characters will be happy open vague narrative problematic will they find a significant other fulfilling job etc v Cause and effect chain structured by acts between ads vi Climax brings balance back to the world but ResolutionD nouement often an aperture ending to allow for continuation of series e TV Serial i Builds on itself each week rather than starting fresh each time ii Multiple protagonists iii Exposition in media res to start in the middle of something iv Motivation generally old ones that get carried from episode to episode but new ones are also introduced They can overlap each other and reappear at different times within the series v Narrative enigmas question that is supposed to be answered by the entire run of the show vi Fairly clear cause and effect chain vii Climax individual enigmas will be solved but not before others arise to take their place viii Resolution not really Nothing is ever fully resolved until the series finale and even then it could be left openended f UnReality TV Nonnarrative structures in TV programming What is real Reality is polymorphous It can assume many different appearances and have many different interpretations The news presents only one version of reality based on things like which stories they cover camera angles editing techniques eyewitness choices narration and music choices etc Instead of reality we can use the term historical reality to define the historical world in terms of what stories we choose to tell and how we choose to tell them SocialActors people on TV who perform a prescribed role in a socially acceptable manner Anytime you are watching something that is real you are watching a social actor news anchor talk show host celebrity on a talk show etc TV s Modes of Representation 1 Expository aka Rhetorical a Presents facts about the historical world in way that does not rely on narrative Addresses the argument directly to the viewer Ex Infomercials news etc 2 Interactive The historical world and the world of TV mix 3 a Social actor is brought to the TV studio talk show game show host etc b Generally they are not speaking directly to the audience but to someone on screen c The TV production is brought to the historical world Dirty Jobs Diners Driveins and Dives i Social actor does not talk directly to us but to others Observational The supposedly untouched presentation of the historical world Ex The Real World Reflexive Does not simply present the world as factual reality but instead points out that filmic presentation problematizes any premise of fact They can also directly address the fact that many realities exist Ex The Daily Show vi Interview Modes 1 Dialogue reporterinterviewer is heard andor seen asking questions of a subject and the subject responds Pseudomonologue reporter sinterview s questions are edited out to make it seem like the subject is talking spontaneously about their experience even though they have been prompted and directed in how to do so Ex Confessional moments in reality TV vii Reality TV Genres 1 2 3 4 Newscasts direct address Sports programs Game shows semidirect address Reality TV defined by a A minimum of scripted dialogue b A cast of social actors pulled from the historical world c A style of image and sound drawn from documentary andor gameshow
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