Codes And Conventions Essay

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Codes and Conventions “ Discuss the use of codes and conventions in the making of this programme.” This is the usual question that is asked in the ‘Form’ section of the media exam. The words’ codes’ and ‘conventions’ are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. A code is a way in which a small element of a text is used as a ‘sign’ which ‘signifies’ a meaning or concept. A convention is the way that these signs are put together to tell a story or give information. Codes In the ‘Blackpool’ clip, the liberal application of aftershave can have a number of ‘coded’ meanings. Denotations: The Character has just shaved, he is preparing for a night out. Connotations: The Character is vain, old fashioned, expects close contact with the opposite sex. This is an example of what Fiske calls a ‘social code’ In the background, Elvis Presley is playing ‘Viva Las Vegas’. This is an example of a ‘technical code’. It could denote that the character likes the track or it could connote that the character identifies with Elvis. Conventions Conventions can be related to Narrative: How a story is told, what format or conventional method is used to tell a story. The opening sequence of a drama will often show the equilibrium state, introduce characters and hint at conflict. Conventions can also be related to Genre: The type of text and the typical textual elements that audiences expect to be in it. Codes: List Social and Technical signs, their denotations and connotations. Sign Type of code Denotation(s) Connotations Narrative Conventions How can you tell this is the opening sequence? What does an opening sequence have to do/ (Setting, Character, Equlibrium) What potential conflict is hinted at? Generic Conventions What textual elements are used to indicate the genre? (Character, Theme, Setting, Iconography, Filmic techniques, Mood, Mode of address,
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