My AS Coursework Blog

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Male Gaze

The Gaze

The concept of gaze is one that deals with how an audience views people presented. For a feminist this can be classed of in three ways: How men look at women, how women look at themselves or how women look at other women.

In 1975 Laura Mulvey a British media professor coined the term 'male gaze' to ensure film audiences view the characters from the perspective of a heterosexual male.

Things such as videos and magazine covers, something in which will sell a product, use figures to catch the gaze. Without noticing, as an audience people will not pay full attention to the information being presented, as the person on screen will distract them due to their actions of sexiness, seductiveness or their invitational body language.

This theory is still relevant in todays society as current Music Artists, celebrities and presenters use the gaze to sell their image to companies in order to create job opportunities such as advertising. Not only that, but people with an aesthetically pleasing body or face to attract both the opposite and same sex are used to endorse the sales of products.  An example of this would be the latest Paco Rabanne Mens Fragrance - Invictus.

Example of 'The Male Gaze' from a TV Drama

This clip taken from the final season of One Tree Hill includes Quinn and Clay, a couple who have been together for a significant amount of time. The male gaze with in this scene will be Quinn, due to the way she stands, her body language and her tone of voice is an act of seducing the other character. The male audience connect to this, by capturing the image placed in front of them. You may notice that the majority of the camera work displays Quinn's best standing out features which will attract both the opposite and same sex, grabbing a wider audience. Through the theory, the gazers may not take in relevant information from this scene, as they will be too focused on what is displayed, however the significance of what Clay says is huge, as it completely changes the storyline. The reasons for using the gaze in this scene may be the directors intention of gripping more interest, however some viewers may find it distracting. 


Examples of 'The Male Gaze' from a Magazine Cover

The male gaze in this magazine cover will attract straight men and gay women, who will instantly be captured by the large cleavage Jennifer Aniston is showing. The use of tight clothing also creates attention of those interested as it outlines her sexual features. The colour red which is used both as the background and a darker shade for her clothing symbolises the positive connotations of the colour, such as: love, sex, beauty and romance. Although the text is in white to stand out, you will notice that none of it covers the main gaze features of her body which will sell the magazine. Her bodily features cause a distraction to the content of the magazine which the company use to their advantage to ensure they sell as many copies as possible.

The cover of Elle Magazine featuring David Beckham shirtless attracts mainly the gay male and straight women. The central position on the cover is taken by Beckham's abdomen which is known as his best selling feature, this alone is the covers best selling point, as it attracts a wide range of people as it is aesthetically pleasing. The reason for me stating that the main attraction for the cover would be gay male and straight women, doesn't however mean they are the only audience which is targeted. They are the main, however due to Beckham being shirtless straight men look up to his body as a goal to reach to ensure they look the best they can. The positioning of his head between the magazine cover heading creates a frame for Beckham's facial appearance in which attracts the gaze audience as it allows them to connect with the connotations present through his emotion shown.

Beyoncé, central of this magazine cover stands in a sexual position to attract the male gaze straight away. With her hands on her head, the connotations the audience take from it is that she is trying to seduce them. The main features which stand out are her chest area - this teases the audience as its barely showing, which make them want to look through to see if they can see more. Her thigh gap and large gluteal area which the male gender seem to take a liking to which distracts them from the information on the cover. The small pants Beyoncé is wearing are to tease the audience to distract them from any other irrelevant information in which could be on the cover. The way she I holding her hair you can connote that she has the sexy 'rough and ready' look which attracts the audience in which will buy the magazine. She can act as a role model for females as her figure is exposed, so they look up to her as a goal for what they wish their body to look like.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

British Film Industry - 30 Questions

What % of global box office was the British film industry responsible for?
The British Industry was responsible for 15% of global box office, roughly 600 British films were made in between 2003 and 2010, and only a small percentage profit. The figure improves as budgets rise - with 17% of films that cost more than £10m making their money back.

What was this % in 2009?
In 2009 there was 6.8% global box office profit from British Films.

What might this change indicate about British film?
The change in the percentage over the years indicates that the British Film Industry is rising, and more of the films they are producing are becoming of a success.

What films have been responsible for this change?
The films responsible for this increase are - The King's Speech, Sky Fall, Slumdog Millionaire and The Woman in Black.

What % of the British film industry makes a profit?
Lower budget films such as those made for less than £2m were less likely to make a profit of 4%. The figure improves as budgets rise with 17% of films that cost more than £10m making their money back.

What % of Hollywood films make a profit?
The percentage of Hollywood films that make a profit is 17%.

How does that % differ between £2m and £10m budget British films?
Lower budget films such as those made for less than £2m were less likely to make a profit of 4%. The figure improves as budgets rise with 17% of films that cost more than £10m making their money back.

What might we infer from this difference?
By stretching a budget, and using extra special effects, or hiring better well known actors, the film is more likely to succeed in making a larger profit than films without.

Which age group makes up the largest % of UK cinema goers?
Ages range from 18-24years of age, both genders.

Why do you think this might be?

The quadrant system allows this age range to view all films, as well as genres, so they are targeted as the most popular and significant age range.

Which 'type' of film has seen an 18% drop in attendance?
The 18 per cent gross income generated by 3D in 2012 continues a slight decline, down from 20 per cent in 2011 and 24 per cent in 2010.

Within that 'type' which genre has seen the biggest fall?
Big family films such as Madagascar 3 and Brave were the genre in which have seen the biggest fall.

What did Charles Grant put this decline down to?
The price of 3D tickets deterred families from going to the cinema, as they tried to economise their pricings to ensure they were saving that little extra money.

Who is Paul Greengrass?
Paul Greengrass is an English film director, screenwriter and former journalist

How did he describe the British film industry?
He says that the British film industry has transformed from what it used to be

What did a BFI spokesperson say was the point of less profitable low budget British films?
"tiny budget films that, while commercial success is always hoped for, are successful and beneficial to the industry for other reasons like skills and training development and for artistic and cultural importance"

What was the budget for Filth and how much money did it take?
Its budget was just under £2 million, and it made £4million

What advantage did James McAvoy feel £100m films have over low budget films?
He says that films with larger budgets have chances to sell the films in all sorts of ways, where as smaller budget films aren't able to do this

What is VOD?
VOD is known as Video on Demand

What % increase did VOD see last year?
The VOD market has increased by 50% last year.

What impact might VOD have on distributers and Studios?
Video on demand is becoming more popular so it might outsell them

What impact has it had on Blockbuster rental stores?
It has a chance of outselling the stores, which will cause them profit and business issues

What was unique about Ben Wheatley's 'A Field In England'?
A Field in England was the first UK film to be released simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD, on TV and through video-on-demand.

What does director of The Machine Caradog James think is the toughest part of film making?
"The toughest thing is you make a good film but can you get it to reach an audience? It's events like this and individuals who champion independent cinema that give us a profile and any chance of a mass audience."

Why have rules been relaxed on what makes a film 'British'?
To encourage more people to make British films, so that there can be more successes.

How has the use of visual effects in films been encouraged?
Visual effects are used in films to make it more interesting for the audience, to aid boosting of ratings

Name five of these rules and link them to The Kings Speech, Kill List, The World's End
Keeping a British Theme through culture -Kings Speech
'LAD' like actions and ways about them - Worlds End
British director - The King's Speech
British Cast - Kill List, Worlds End
Location set in Britain - Kill List, Worlds End, King's Speech 

What rules has chancellor George Osbourne announced for tax on British films?
He announced that films only need to now spend 10% of their budget within the UK to qualify for tax relief, where previously they had to spend 25%. Tax relief would be applied to 25% of the first £20m of a production, and 20% on any remaining budget, regardless of the overall total; previously only films under £20m were eligible for the higher rate.

What is the highest grossing film in UK box office history?
James Bond: Sky Fall

How much has it taken and how many screens was it available on?
Bond adventure has earned £94.3m in the UK, beating the previous record holder Avatar. Sky Fall opened in 587 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on 26 October, and is still on general release.


Thursday, 12 December 2013



Dumb Blonde Stereotype

Appearance of the stereotype includes particularly a woman, with blonde hair and heavy make up, especially around the eyes, and an orange face. There is no particular weight in particular which outlines the stereotype, the blonde hair is the most significant feature. They are very simplistic, and wear clothing which can be revealing to all to try and attract attention from the opposite sex in particular.
The behaviour and the way they act can sometimes be deliberate to feel as if they should fulfil their stereotype, or they are just genuinely what society would call extremely stupid. They have very basic personalities, with not much of a variety of interest which makes them seem as if they have boring characteristics, and they rely totally on their looks to be noticed.

You wouldn't necessarily associate a 'dumb blonde' as being a male figure, as the female figure is stereotypically what the stereotype relates to. Their attitudes are usually to try and impress people, especially males, but end up saying stupid things which make them come across as stupid. Girls are genuinely known especially blondes for being relatively 'dumb' compared to male figures, as males think that they will stereotypically be the ones to go out and work to cater for a family when they grow up.

The character Karen Smith in Mean Girls portrays this stereotype in her role throughout the film. Played by Amanda Seyfriend, Karen is a particular person who doesn't think before she speaks, and doesn't tend to have any common sense. She represents the extreme of this stereotype, with severe incapability to know anything knowledgeable.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Harry Potter World - Media Trip

A trip to the Warner Brothers Studio in London is nothing of the ordinary. It was a whirlwind of a day, filled with a variety of laughs, cries, and a bundle of energy and excitement. It really puts into perspective, what a Big Six company have to do to ensure every fine detail is perfect. The budget has now, in my eyes become of an understandable margin, as to why institutions are in need of that large amount of money per film. The sets were so realistic it made you feel a part of the film, whilst you were taking in all of its beauty. You couldn't pick a favourite part of the day because it was all an exceptional 10/10 experience which all ages can enjoy. From playing Quidditch, driving a flying car, or drinking butter beer, Harry Potter World has it all. However the gift shop does rob you of your money, but everyone has to get some form of memorabilia don't they? We met life size sculptures of the characters, shown video tutorials on the makeup and costume, and participated in a photo competition in which the winner would take away a real chocolate frog. Apart from the huge fun endured throughout the day, it was such a learning curve and helped to understand what it would be like to be involved with in a film production of this scale. It was well and truly a fantastic school trip which will be remembered by all with amazing memories for a long time. 

          Hogwarts Castle



            Group Photo

       Harry Potter Entrance

     "It was all an exceptional
      10/10 experience"