Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Own Multimodal Text Link

Mode and Affordance Inanimate Alice Episode 4

The modes used to create meaning in 'Inanimate Alice' are the font, the lighting, the sounds and the structure of the page, with the affordances as the way in which modes create this meaning. The font suggests neat handwriting, it is informal displaying that a child is writing, perhaps it connotes that Alice is writing something personal to he audience. The other use of colour is of the solid black background on the first page, this conveys a dark, almost claustrophobic atmosphere, as if the background is closing in on the small white text. The lighting is very similar to the colours, as it is used to create a dark mood, particularly the flickering of white text, which reflects a problem with communication. This distortion becomes confusing for the audience, and it stirs emotions of fear, anticpation much like you would feel if there was a technical fault in the middle of nowhere. The sounds also play a part here, with the use of white noise and the flickering, it ensures that the text is coherent as well as building up tension. I think sound is really important in building an atmosphere for the audience, particularly to signal a change in mood. The use of splitscreens and zooming in using different angles, again adds to the light and sound, to create the feeling of distortion, but action more so. The structure of the pages seems to allow genre to come through, with splitscreens that are used in action films as well as comic books. This is effective because it builds further the sense of anticipation of what comes next, which essentially is what a storyline of any text should do, pull the audience in.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My Own Multimodal Text - Positionality Analysis

The positionality of the characters in my own text was taken from the 'Granpa' book, with the main characters always positioned on the left, and the less significant characters on the right. Due to the text involving animation, unlike in the books, I ensured that the main character would move across the page left to right, to show its importance as well as the direction of the story. This also helps to guide the audience through the story, as if they can follow and move along with the characters. However, there is a difference when the duck comes in from the right side, which shows a change in positionality, suggesting that the duck is an important character.

The positioning of the adult's speech always remains at the top of the slides, to show the height of the adult in comparison with the bicycle which remains at the bottom of the page. The hierachy of signifiers shows age and height. As mentioned before, the 'Granpa' story has the picture of the granpa as large, and because there is not a physical picture of the adult, the high position of the speech reresents that height or authoritative position of the carer with the child. With the other objects always positioned at a similar height to the girl, I think this allowed the multimodal text to look real, as these objects would normally be at a low level. 'Inanimate Alice' used splitscreens, which made it resemble an action film, a fiction film, and so the positionality of the pictures and objects did not reflect that of real dimensions and heights, something I wanted to create.

My Own Multimodal Text - Colours Analysis

After analysis of 'Inanimate Alice', 'Granpa', the short videos and the other story books, the use of colour seems to be extremely significant in portraying moods, setting and character features. I used intertextuality of 'Inanimate Alice' and 'Granpa' as I feel the colours used in them were very important in creating meaning. From 'Inanimate Alice', the use of colour was used when there was a change in mood, for example the picture was saturated, with dark distorted colouring when there is danger, which I wanted to use in my own text. I cropped and added red flowers to the pond area to signify danger and warning, because red is usually associated with danger. Also, I used yellow for the other objects because yellow reflects a happy feeling, with the child enjoying herself around these things. That contrasts with the red of the flowers at the end of the text which sets the change in the mood, from playful to dangerous.

As said before, the colours the bicycle and speech show the features of the characters, with the different shades of pink and white convey the character is  a little girl, particularly with the tassles and stabilisers which signify age. The story books did not seem to use a pink colour so obviously to signify gender, but seemed to use actual clothing or speech to show whether the characters were old or young, male or female. For example, in 'Granpa' the little girl does not wear pink but does wear skirts, which displays to the audience that she is a girl. Due to my choice not have a physical character, as in 'Inanimate Alice', the bicycle I chose to use in my text had to portray age and gender, for the audience to recognise our assumptions that a little pink bicycle with stabilisers and tassles would be ridden by a little girl. Also the speech was coloured dark pink, rather than a pale pink which would convey innocence, a feeling that is not related to my text. The darker shade suggests the colour of cheekiness and naughtiness, to portray the little girl's personality. 

The setting stays consistent throughout the multimodal text, with green park areas, which suggest a fun day at the park, which is contradicted by the little girl falling in the pond. Also, I wanted to keep the setting background, similar to the 'Granpa' book with every other page showing the next setting. For example, the previous slide would be a wideshot of path and grass and the next slide would show the path up close, and I ensured this happened for each of the slides. I think this is effective because it gives the story structure, much like the book, which allows it to be followed easier and once again the repetition allows a child to anticipate what will come next.

My Own Multimodal Text - Genre Analysis

The use of repetition and signifiers of character features were found to effective when analysing short video clips. I used each of these in my own multimodal text to portray a genre of child stories, adventure stories and also very much of a fable with a moral to the story. As I have mentioned before, I have used repetition because it connotes a playful and interactive feel, much like child story genres, very much like the books 'I want my potty' and 'We're going on a bear hunt'. However, I think it is the signifiers of the characters, speech and background that  specifically show the genre, particularly in my own multimodal text. In the book 'Granpa' the features of characters' physical appearance signify age and gender, for example white socks on the girl character remind the audience of little white socks that are worn by small schol children. This is very similar to the short video about the couple, as the lady wore a hair clip in her very similar to what we assume young girls to wear, and so these physical features signify a child like genre, a playful book, perhaps innocent like a child's story book. In my own text, the bicycle is pink and white, with stabilisers which immediately connotes it is a genre relating to children. The stabilisers signify that there is something new being learned, and so the genre could be seen as a fable, with a message to be learned by the audience as well as the character. This is very similar to most children's fairy tales such as 'Goldilocks' where the character and children reading learn something new from the story. 

Also, after analysing the story books' title pages, the genre can be predicted by the colours, writing and the signifiers. The title page of my own text has a background of a park/grass area which shows that the story is a light relief, not like a horror genre which might have dark colours. I took this idea from 'Granpa' as the background is a beach setting with brigh colours, which represents a happy feel, a child story genre of fun and play. Also, the pink bicycle and the pink writing, link the two together, and suggest it may be a young girl's story, however the green wild park area would appeal to boys, which allows the genre to come across as a story for all children. The park area and bicycle connote playing at the park, with a genre of travelling, a journey and exploring. Also, the dark pink 'I WANT' title suggests a spoiled child, perhaps connotes that something may go wrong in the story, with a genre of disaster.

My Own Multimodal Text - Order/Direction Analysis

To create order, I used different buttons, very similar to the arrows in 'Inanimate Alice' however I wanted my buttons to relate to my story rather than just be arrows or a shape that we assume to be related to directions. I used a leaf to turn the page, because I thought it related to the consistent background of nature and the park areas, and also linked it to the saying 'take a leaf out of a book'. The button of little girl's gloves, used to make the different objects move, I thought related to hands making something move, as if the gloves represent a 'doing' button. I added a glow around the two to ensure they looked like buttons, differentiating them from the other objects in the picture, this was taken from 'Inanimate Alice' where the button would enlarge when the mouse was hovered over it, and so the glow/enlargement allows the audience to recognise that the object is a button that will lead them through the story.

Also, I used the speech to create direction of the character, rather than to lead the audience through the story itself. I took this idea from 'Inanimate Alice' where the speech moves in the direction to show Alice's tracks, which is effective because it is more interesting way to show direction, particularly when the physical character is never shown. The bicycle and the speech represent the little girl in my multimodal text, and so the direction that the two of these move, represents the movement on the little girl. Also, the direction from left to right which signifies the girl is the main character, as the main characters in stories always start on the right side of the page.

My Own MultiModal Text - Framing Analysis

In 'Granpa', the framing changes every other page from use of white space and pictures to the whole picture and background taking up the page. This is similar to the 'Heart in a Bottle', as the background picture takes up the whole page with white space used in only some of the pages. I wanted to use this in my own multimodal text, with the whole background taking up the whole page. The background of park spaces, where the child characters are discovering and playing, represents the freedom of the child playing, particularly outside in natural space, it portrays the open space for the child to roam and play. I think is really effective for the children reading too, because it allows their imagination to roam free as well. I chose not to have any white spaces with small pictures because I think that gives the page an intimate, tight feeling which I did not want to portray in my own story.

My Own Multimodal Text - Sound Analysis

In 'Inanimate Alice', sound is used to create mood, atmosphere, pace and also like many other modes, it used to assist the audience's imagination, to make a story feel real. The latter factor interested me because I feel the sounds within the multimodal text made it feel very real, for example with the white noise used for the phone reception, which made the story more believable. I think the sounds draw you in, which is what I wanted to use in my own multimodal text with real sounds. The modal structure I was accessing was of a park area, with the different areas of a park including a dog walking field, a ball court,  open grass space, and a pond are. The noises that we would assume to hear in a park are the noises I included in my own multimodal text, for example even  duck doesn't necessarily say 'quack 'quack', the noise represented what we expect a duck to sound like. Also, I used the sound of a child laughing to represent the little girl playing and having fun as well as the little girl crying, which gives the child a voice, In 'Animate Alice' this does not happen, as you never see the characters or hear them, and so although I chose for the character not to be shown, I think it was important to add reality to the story with real noises. I decided not to use music to create pace, because the genre of the story is not that of an adventure story, it is a child's story and the pace is used through speech and direction. Also, 'Inanimate Alice' used splitscreens and music to create a structure very similar to a film, but I chose to do the opposite by adding in the sound of a page turning and using a particular slide transition which resembled a page turning right to left, to give the illusion of a multimodal book, even if it is not a physical book to hold.

My Own Multimodal Text - Written Text Analysis

I used different fonts for the child's speech and the adult's speech, to differentiate between the two and to signify age. The font Bradley Hand Ict looks child like and playful which represents a young age of the child, very much like 'A Heart in a Bottle' which uses a child like font, always like a child's handwriting on the title page, to convey the story is focussed around the child. The adult's speech was written in Arial, which suggests a formal, authoritative character, or perhaps because it is a widely used font it suggests a neutral character, which the adult's character is because I chose to never identfy the adult as a parent, grandparent or carer. I chose to do this because I believe it is irrelevant, as the child is the key character and the focus should be on them, very much like the multimodal text 'Inanimate Alice', where the characters are never shown, becaus the story is more about the adventure and the different modes used to create he adventure, for example sound, colour saturation and splitscreens. I think changing the font to signify properties of a character helps to create a real picture of the character, assisting a child audience with their imagination when reading a text. As well as changing the font, I took an idea from the book 'Granpa', with the child's speech written in italics. I think this is effective because the use of italics connotes the questioning or curiousity of the child, which again assists the audience in picturing the character. In addition to this, italics gives the speech a playful feel, perhaps mischievious very much like the young child in my text and 'Granpa'.

The use of colour was very important for me throughout, including the colour of the speech. In 'Inanimate Alice' the writing is white, which allows it to be seen against the dark backgrounds however the white seems to suggest an innocence, in contrast with the dark, dangerous colours showing the story. I used a dark pink colour for the child's speech because it suggests gender of a girl, particularly with the darker shade perhaps suggesting naughtiness or cheekiness, which reflects the child's personality. I used black writing for the adult's voice to again avoid gender, so that the audience can decide who the carer is and also because I feel it is irrelevant to the story. Colours can also suggest mood, which I think the dark pink connotes perhaps danger, which suggests that something may go wrong within the story for the little girl, which is similar to 'Granpa' in its pictures that have bright colours to represent positive moods, and dark colours when the mood is negative.

The size of my writing stayed consistent throughout the multimodal text, until the last three slides. I did enlarge the words 'I WANT' to highlight the title and the to create a rhythm within the text, which I shall discuss later. I think the enlargement of these words allows a child audience to interact with it, perhaps shouting 'I WANT' when it appears, which creates a fun, playful atmosphere to the text. The use of size to emphasise the words has been very important to the text, particularly at the end of the writing to show significance within the storyline, for example enlarging the last 'BE CAREFUL DARLING' through changing the size and the use of capital letters highlights that it is an important moment in the story, and also suggests shouting and  warning. I slightly took this iea from the book 'Granpa' because although the text stays the same size, the size of the pictures is used to signify importance of events and characters. At the very start and end of the story, the pictures of the little girl, the granpa and the chair are very big, and on many other pages too, which draws focus on the characters because they are the key signifiers of the story. The enlargement of the armchair on the last page, is used very much like the enlargement of my speech on the last slide, to portray a message, to suggest something has been changed without specificly saying what, and as said before to show a warning, or a shock.

From the books 'I want my potty' and 'We're going on a bear hunt', I really liked the use of repetition in the written words, because it is interactive allowing the audience to join in with the rhythmic patterns of the story. I wanted to incorporate this into my own text, using the repetition of 'I want' and 'Be careful darling', so that a child audience would be able to read along with the words and to know what will come next. Although this may seem monotonous for an adult audience, children enjoy shouting out repeated words because they can anticipate what comes next. This repetition is also shown slightly in one of the short films we watched about a couple who repeated romantic gestures using post its, this short film immediately gave a child like feel because as an audience we could anticipate what was coming and it was very simple. 

Other Children's Books

After formal analysis of the book 'Granpa', I decided to look at other children's books such as 'A heart in a bottle', 'I want my potty' and 'We're going on a bear hunt'. 'A heart in a bottle' had a very simple structure, with a many pages with a background picture setting the scene and short sentences to assist the pictures in portraying the story. The vastness of the background settings, allow for imagination and exploration for children reading, because the pictures are very open yet basic. Also, the writing used on the title page connotes a child's handwriting, with texture of the font almost crayon like, again suggesting that the story will have a child at the centre of it. The book 'I want my potty' has a playful feel with the book written from the child's point of view, as if it is told through speech and pictures, without any other words. The repetition of the words 'I want' creates a rhythm, which is fun for children as they can predict the story and read along, using the pictures to help. Many children's books have a rhythm, or use repitition to create a fun, dynamic story that children can join in with, which lead to me to analyse the book 'We're going on a bear hunt', which is reknowned for its pattern and repititon of speech. Children can become engaged in a book much easier if it is interactive with a rhythmic pattern to the text, because it allows them to join rather than just read the words.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Genre of videos

The genre of a multimodal text refers to how we percieve the different aspects of a text to everyday literature and films, from stories we already know. It's about our expectations of what the text will be about, using the pictures, colours, font and many other signifiers. We looked at short videos and adverts and identied different features of them, relating to other films we had seen. One of the videos was about retro video games taking over a city of sky scrapers, which resembled similar angles of superhero films, or sci-fi action films with the game characters flying around skyscrapers and through the air. Another video we watched was about two people who copied eachother making signs out of post it notes, with each character always doing something bigger. The male and female characters suggested it was a romance, with flowers, hearts and sunshines made out of post it notes. However, there was a child like feel about the video with the repetition that is very popular in children's books, as it creates a running theme and a rhythm. The characters' clothing was child like too as the woman wore a clip in her hair, that would resemble a little girl's hair accesories and the man had floppy messy hair that looked very careless much like a little boy, rather than an office man. These short videos in particular displayed how genre can be shown through angles, repetition and signifiers of character descriptions, which I would like to use in my own multimodal text.