Assignment is captured in a close-up shot
Assignment 2: MediaPortfolio1. Movie poster: Moonlight This movie poster for the Oscar award winning film Moonlight depicts the protagonist in threephases of his life: child, teenager, adult. This poster was constructed usingnumerous techniques such as colour, visual composition, lighting, typography,and the written language.
Photographs & IllustrationsInthis representation, the use of layout, color, and design is what gives meaningto the movie poster. The main character’s face is captured in a close-up shot thatalmost fills up the entire poster, this helps to further reflect his emotions,facial scars, and physical change. The representation is dominated by threemain colors: green, purple, and blue. Coral green conveys childhood innocence;the shade of purple with a hint of reddish pink connotes violence in a troubledyouth; and the faded steal blue (almost grey) symbolizes spiraling darkness andweariness as well as masculinity. Thesecolors divide the poster into three distinct sections like they are brokenpieces of a mirror fitted together to form a whole – the life of theprotagonist. Here, the sematic and symbolic code is used.
The audience is ableto easily recognize the transition of the male lead from a young, misunderstoodboy to a violent teenager, to a muscular, grown up man through specific elementsin the photograph (E.g: high eyebrows as a child, facial scars, beard, earing,strong jawline…). The scars invite the audience to ask questions, therefore,conforming to Barthes enigma code theory. This poster’s washed out background, dimcentral back-light, and overall murky color gives it a gloomy feel. How theman’s eyes are highlighted also helps to capture the audience’s attention. TextMoonlight movie poster uses the simpleGotham font, but it is the illuminating nature of “Moonlight” that really addsvalue to the meaning of the title, for this glowing effect placed on top of thefaded background gives off an eerie and sad vibe to the poster.
The tag line ofthis movie “This is the story of a lifetime” is written at the very top inwhite text. It has double meaning and can be understood as the story whichtells about a lifelong tale or a story that surpasses all others in anaudience’s life time. Conforming to the codes and conventions of a movieposter, Moonlight poster also has anextra information section (producers, director, actors, dates etc…) in smallprint at the bottom so that it does not divert attention.
Lookingat the general design of this film poster, the audience can guess that this isa coming-of-age film. The target audience for this is the young adults andadults who simply want to experience the story of a lifetime. The poster hastruly succeeded in its purpose to compel people from all walks of life to takea step into the world of this protagonist. 2. Movie trailer: The Danish Girl The Danish Girl (2015) movie trailer depictsa selfless love between two artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener and thetransformation of Lili Elbe from a man to a woman. This analysis aims todissect the codes and conventions used in this trailer, as well as theproduction elements also present, and its effect on the audience. Codes and Conventions Likeall conventional movie trailers, TheDanish Girl starts off with the production logo: Focus Features (American)and Working Titles (British).
This implies the collaboration between twocountries and that the main target audience is both American and British. Cutscenes are utilized to portray the plot of the story in a linear time sequenceand the viewers can vaguely guess how the story will play out. This conforms toTodorov’s equilibrium theory. This trailer also made exceptional use of music thatimpeccably follows the highs and lows of the plot line with precision. Itstarts off with a light melodic traditional piano track while on screen thefirst equilibrium state is introduced, then transforms to a joyful piece whenthe character plays with the idea of being “Lili”, only to end abruptly whenhis wife caught him kissing another man. This creates tension and indicates tothe audience of the transition to the disequilibrium state. The music returnsto a slow tempo piano and violin number, but this time, much more soulful andheart wrenching as the couple struggles to come to terms with the husband’sgender and identity. The moment the problem is resolved (Lily: “I believe I ama woman” – Gerda: “And I believe it too”) the trailer ends off with abreathtaking orchestral score which implies an important change in the storyline and single piano sounds as the screen shows a medium close-up shot of Lilistaring straight at the camera: daring, seductive, and confident.
Thesoundtracks, title style, and settings combined gives hint to what is themovie’s genre: drama, romance, historical. The trailer also highlights thefamous casts and director – EddieRedmayne, Alicia Vikander and Tom Hooper –which may raise expectations and attracts viewers who are fans of the actors orthe director. ProductionelementsCameratechniques, acting skills, and mise-en-scene also play a significant role inconstructing this movie trailer. In portraying the affection and proximity ofthe couple’s relationship, a medium close-up shot is used in which thecharacters are embracing each other tightly.
For the life transforming momentwhere Einer (Lili) has his revelation, close-up, extreme close-up, and chokershots were used to emphasize the gestures of his fingers gliding along thefabric of the dress and the emotions that plays across his features as thathappened. In the beginning, the main character appeared gentlemanly. He isdressed in suits and had short hair, but this gradually changed as he startedexhibiting feminine gestures and wears female clothing, which disrupts theconventional idea of a man and indicates change to the audience. Thistrailer/movie is targeted at young adults and adults who have interests in LGBTor the LGBT community. 3. Music video: …Ready for it? TaylorSwift is renowned for her controversial music videos and “…Ready for it?” is no exception. It conforms to Barthes’ enigma theory as it raises multiple questionsfor viewers, such as: Why are there two Taylor Swifts? What does each onerepresent? What does the cage and fight between two characters symbolize? Thismedia analysis will delve deeper into the technical and symbolicaspect of the music video to explore the hidden message behind “…Ready for it?” At a glance, one can pick up that this a sci-fi thriller music videodue to its dark, metallic, and CGI elements infused together to form anarrative styled video.
It talks about Taylor Swifts’ struggle with externalpressures and expectations during her career and how she was able to liberateherself from that depressing place. Clever use of camera and editing techniquescontributes greatly to the plot line of this music video. At the start, thecamera dollies and tracks Taylor as she walks down a creepy, rundown alleywhile a series of full, medium long, and close-up shots were used to accentuateher menacing look. Long shots in the middle of the video gave the audience aclearer picture of the battle between the two Taylors. Low angle shots of curlyhaired Taylor standing of top of the elevator indicates her standing above allexpectations and criticisms, and the last choker shot emphasized her liberatedsmile and tear of joy in finding herself again. Aninteresting fact is that the lyric does not correlate with the narrative of thevideo at all as the lyric talks about a love relationship while the video isanything but. However, the quick rhythm and beat fit perfectly with the fastmoving nature of cuts, transitions, and mood of “…Ready for it?” – conforming to the sound parallel code. This videois basked in an overall dark lighting with back lights (which are somewhatfoggy) coming from windows, creating the effect of an abandoned building.
Anotable element that adds meaning to the video is how Taylor Swift’s costumeand lighting connotes two sides of “good” and “evil”. The black cape is asymbol of the media’s construction of Taylor, analogous to this is the redfluorescent light which is connected to sinister things. Meanwhile, the cyborgTaylor is purely white and radiates blue light – the colors of good. Theclear cage Taylor puts herself in represents how her real identity has beenlocked up due to public pressure. In here Cyborg Taylor fights with EvilTaylor, growing stronger every time she is struck down, to finally blast openher prison and escape.
Such concept of being caged is also used in other musicvideos like Miley Cyrus’s “Can’t betamed” or Sia’s “Elastic Heart”. Thismusic video is not only targeted at Taylor’s own fan base, but it is also anannouncement to the world and her haters that she is accepting herself and willbe whoever she wants to be, however she desires. 4. Print advertisement: Terra Travel: Architect. “Catch your Breath.”Thisis Terra Travel’s print advertisement created by DDB for their “Catch yourbreath” campaign. It depicts an architect in office clothing breaking the watersurface as he comes up for air.
At the bottom is his architectural equipmentwhile floating on the water is a small island with lush greenery. This posteruses codes and conventions of print advertising and persuasion techniques toentice the audience to book a holiday with Tera Travel. Codes and ConventionsThismanipulated ad utilizes excellent graphics and color scheme to get their ideaacross to the audience. Firstly, examining the color scheme and layout, it isapparent that there are two main colors: blue and green. A clear blue skyrepresents relaxation and is very inviting in comparison to the murky greenwater which seems dark and scary. The water span largely dominates the wholelength of this vertical ad as if the camera capturing this image is halfsubmerged underwater, creating an impression of being suffocated to the viewers.An island and a boat are placed floating at the top in the background signifyingvacation paradise. Meanwhile, situated at the bottom are the architect’s toolssymbolizing work and stress.
The architect himself is gasping for air as hebreaks the surface which connotes the idea that he is escaping work to take amuch needed holiday. Locatedat the bottom right corner is Terra’s logo; beside the architect is the catchphrase of the campaign “Catch your breath”, below that is the name of thecompany and the website URL. These three lines at the top are cleverly designedto curve with the water which intensifies the feeling of being immersedunderwater, making the audience also wanting to gasp for air. Overall, the textis very small in comparison to the whole advert, this easily amplifies themessage the graphic is trying to portray: people are getting swamped in workand a good holiday helps them come up for a breather. Persuasion TechniqueThetarget audience for this is office workers and especially architects who feelthey are being drowned in work and need an escape. The makers used two oppositetechniques – association and fear. The first persuasion technique isassociation in which using Tera Travel to book a vacation is equivalent to fun,pleasure, and escape as depicted in how the island seems very inviting incomparison to the work equipment underwater.
This advertisement also inducesfear of working too much and fear of stress to promote the solution which is totake a break and go on vacation. Themessage that this print advertisement is trying to get across visibly reflectsa problem in our society recently where people are devoting too much of theirtime into work, allowing it to strangle them and rarely spend time on leisureactivities.