Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Presenting online video 2 - understanding meaning

A day later, and I have taken the opportunity to ask the delegates what they would like...

I'm looking to boil the presentation down to its essence, so out go the tips and tricks. Instead when we talk about video making, I'm interested in the following.

How what you do influences the audience in any way, or how you want to  communicate with them.

I'm reminded of the furore over Hotel Babylon in the UK in 1996. It was a programme made by an indie, and caused the biggest fuss because one of the sponsors Heineken objecting to black musicians,  Seal and Shaggy, being in the show.

Not long afterwards Ford motor company doctored a promotional image featuring a black man.

What we as image makers want to do can often be different from how the target audience imbibes or feels about what we're doing.

If you keep missing the mark, it might be because you're not reading your audience. This applies to the interpretation for film, news and adverts.

Experts refer to this as coded "preferred readings". Once you decide on how you want your message interpreted, you can then set about deconstructing it.

In its simplest form. Video shows the obvious when watching and the there are hidden communicated meanings.  The skill is understanding what that is, but even then understanding film is one thing, creating it to encapsulate multiple ideas is another.

Take cadbury chocolates advert below. Why did its sales shoot up following this ad?

In effect there are guidelines that help, but there are extremely fluid because the audience changes or is influenced by things you never knew of.

How we think is key to our grand quest for creating video and meaning. In the next post, I'll tell you how I got on with the delegates...

David published viewmagazine.tv which examines videojournalism and includes data from his PhD research looking at audiences.