Sunday, 20 March 2011

Evaluation Q2 - How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups?

Our media product represents social groups in a number of ways:

  • Firstly, we made sure that we could relate to the target audience, so that they would become more interested in to what was going on, through the way the character was styled upon. For example, the protagonist of the film was a disheveled, casual, yet troubled individual. We thought that this could relate to the typical teenager/young man in a certain way, as the archetypical teenager is conventionally unorganized, disillusioned and some are conveyed as being outcasts in society. A good example of this is Donnie Darko, the titular character from the film of the same name.We tried to model or protagonist on some of the characters in this type of film, because they are mainly quite isolated and not having an ideal lifestyle, and at odds with everybody else in their environment. This is one of the ways that our film represents social groups, through the representation of age and social background. 

This is an extract from Donnie Darko where we really come to terms with his personality and what he is going through, and this is also a good example of how we tried to replicate a character with a complicated past in order to represent a certain social group, ie both background and age.
  •  Another area of representation is that of sexuality; the second character is a strong, heterosexual male. This is somewhat of a convention, as it is this style of sexuality that appeals most to the public, and also gathers the widest audience attraction, and is proved by examples such as James Bond, to name one. This type of protagonist (the archetypical alpha male) greatly appeals to the general public, mostly female, in relation to the male gaze, but this time focusing on "female gaze", so to speak.

  • Our film doesn't really represent the social groups concerning race and regional identity; we had our reasons for this. The main point to be addressed is the fact that we wanted to convey a sense of narrative enigma as to what the character's personality consisted of. We deliberately missed out aspects like ethnicity and regional identity because we wanted the audience to think for themselves about the type of personality that the protagonist has. A great example of this Fred Madison from the film Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997) - very little is known about the character, and it is somewhat of a narrative enigma as to who he really is, and we tried to replicate this way of storytelling with our own film. This is an example of deliberately not including some areas of representation so that the audience has to work it out for themselves.
The representation of disability/ability is touched upon in our film. Linking to my previous point of the character not knowing what is happening. The protagonist is, in a way, disabled in a mental state, as he is too disorientated and troubled to function properly, and is constantly haunted by flashbacks. This area of representation, however, will probably not captivate the audience as much, and is not the biggest social group that our film is aimed at. 

To summarise, the main area of representation that we address in our media product is that of age. Even though there is a slight narrative enigma to add mystery and depth to his persona, the age of the main character has been chosen to relate to a wider target audience, and it has also been chosen to represent certain social groups, mainly age, gender and sexuality. 

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