Media Terms


Media Terminolgy

Convention - A commen set of standards used to make texts easily idnetifiable.

Connotation/Connotates - what you associate with an image or the deeper or hidden meanings and assosiations. For example: the use of a spaceship set, green lighting and makeup which makes the actors look like aliens connotates to the audience that this is a science fiction film.

Signify/Signifies - The associations that a sign or symbol refers to. For example: The antagonist has a gun which signifies he is violent.

Lighting - lighting quickly creates an atmosphere on screen. if it is dark  and shadowy we might be made to feel uneasy. as in a thriller; if the lighting is bright we may feel happy and confident. the filmmaker can use lighting to draw our attention to a person/object or equally, to hide them.

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Media Terminolgy

Audience – viewers, listeners and readers of a media text. A lot of media studies is concerned with how audience use texts and the effects a text may have on them. Also identified in demographic  socio-economic categories.

CGI – Computer Generated Imagary, Refers to the (usually) 3-D effects that enhance all kinds of still and moving images, from text effects, to digital snow or fire, to the generation of entire landscapes

Code – a sign or convention through which the media communicates meaning to us because we have learned to read it. Technical codes – all to do with the way a text is technically constructed – camera angles, framing, typography, lighting etc. Visual codes – codes that are decoded on a mainly connotational level – things that draw on our experience and understanding of other media texts, this includes Iconography – which is concerned with the use of visual images and how they trigger the audiences expectations of a particular genre, such as a knife in slasher horror films

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Media Terminology

Consumer – purchaser, listener, viewer or reader of media products.

Context – time, place or mindset in which we consume media products.

Convergence – The way in which technologies and institutions come together in order to create something new. Cinema is the result of the convergence of photography, moving pictures (the kinetoscope, zoetrope etc), and sound. The iPad represents the convergence of books, TV, maps, the internet and the mobile phone.

Demographics – Factual characteristics of a population sample, e.g. age, gender, race, nationality, income, disability, education

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Media Terminology

Enigma – A question in a text that is not immediately answered and creates interest for the audience – a puzzle that the audience has to solve.

Intertextuality – the idea that within popular culture producers borrow other texts to create interest to the audience who like to share the ‘in’ joke. Used a lot in the Simpsons.

Media product – a text that has been designed to be consumed by an audience. E.G a film, radio show, newspaper etc.

Mise en Scene – literally ‘what’s in the shot’ everything that appears on the screen in a single frame and how this helps the audience to decode what’s going on.

Narrative code – The way a story is put together within a text, traditionally equilibrium- disequilibrium, new equilibrium, but some text are fractured or non liner, eg Pulp Fiction.

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Media Terminology

Representation – The way in which the media ‘re-presents’ the world around us in the form of signs and codes for audiences to read.

SFX – special effects or devices to create visual illusions.

Stereotype – representation of people or groups of people by a few characteristics eg hoodies, blondes

Sub-genre – a genre within a genre.

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