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Lecture 6

CMN 600 Lecture 6: Week 6-Visual Communication

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Ryerson University
CMN 600
Shiga John

Week 6- Visual Communication How images communicate: 2 Approaches - 1) realist view o “copy model” of visual perception and representation o Images reflect objects in the real world - 2) rhetorical view o Images are not mirrors or windows but “symbolic artifacts constructed from the conventions of a particular culture” Characteristics of Traditional Science Documentaries: - Purpose/aim: exposition (rather than persuasion) - James kinneavy (theory of Discourse): o Exposition= focus is on representing reality as accurately as possible o Persuasion= focus is on trigger action on part of audience or changing the way audience thinks, feels, acts Similarities between science and Documentary film: - 1) Realism: representation of reality as accurately as possible - 2) Positivism: notion that knowledge is produced through observation (audience as “virtual witness” of experiments) - 3) Mechanical Objectivity: both science and documentary treat photographic/film images as “evidence” (as opposed to drawings which introduce interpretation, expression of artist) Some Incongruities between science and documentary 1. Not all science is tv friendly and not all scientists are good storytellers 2. Although both science and documentary emphasize exposition, documentary frequently uses metaphors (in words and images) to help explain science 3. Since the 1990s, producers of scientific documentaries increasingly experiment with re- enactment (eg: experiments, journeys, conversations etc) reconstruction (eg: through computer animation) and dramatization (eg: integrating plausible but fictional events to the story) Photographs and moving images are constructed (they are not neutral reflections of reality) - Anchorage: captions, slogans, or other w
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