There are Five Key Concepts for you to understand in Film and Television Study:
Technologies are the tools and associated processes that are used to create meaning in moving-image media production and use.
Media technologies are the tools that allow media products to be produced, distributed and accessed. You most often learn about media technologies as you use them to make and share media products.
Representations are constructions of people, places, events, ideas, and emotions that are applied to create meaning in moving-image media production and use.
Media representations relate to the ways in which people, places, ideas, emotions and beliefs are portrayed in media and popular culture. Media products are selective constructions of the real world, not the real world itself. All media representations are the product of someone's point of view or perspective and reflect competing beliefs and biases in society.
Audiences are individuals and groups of people for whom moving-image products are made, and who make meanings when they use these products.
Media audiences are the people media products are produced for. Audiences use media products in many ways, often not intended by the producers. While media products are sometimes perfectly directed towards their target audience, many fail because they are simply rejected by the audience. An example of this is advertising. We know now we are being manipulated, and don't buy every product advertised.
Increasingly, media audiences now too, are becoming producers of media themselves, through digital content, such as websites, blogs, myspace, and other digital forums.
Institutions are the organizations and people whose operational processes and practices enable or constrain moving-image media production and use.
Without institutions, there would be no media. They include Hollywood as a global media industry, the Australian film and television industries, the local video games industry, the newspaper industry, individuals making media products on computers at home, and thousands of others around the world.
Languages are systems of signs and symbols organised through codes and conventions to create meaning in moving-image media production and use.
Media languages are the elements that form the building blocks of communication. These include rules, sometimes called codes, relating to the technical, symbolic and narrative aspects of media.
Technical codes include shot types, camera angles, framing and composition, editing style, the use of various fonts and elements of sound. Symbolic codes are elements such as body language, facial expression, props and costumes, location design, dialogue and lighting.
Narrative codes are the story based elements relating to the story, plot, character, setting and theme. All media products can be deconstructed to identify how various elements come together to communicate a message.