CMN 140 Lecture 7: Entertainment Content

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7 Feb 2017
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Key$idea:$story$formulas$help$designers$of$entertainment$messages$attract$audience$attention$
and$condition$audiences$for$repeat$exposures$templates$ex:$for$news-$inverted$pyramid$
&narrative$
Story&Formulas&are&guides&that&help&producers&and&audiences!
Creators$use$formula$to$create$successful$product$
Consumers$use$formula$to$recognize$elements$of$story$
o General$formula:$$
Entertainment$that$follows$this$formula$begins$with$a$problem$for$at$least$one$
character,$followed$by$heightened$conflict,$and$the$climax$where$the$conflict$is$
resolved$
Genres!
Drama$
o Tragedy-$must$have$characters$that$are$perceived$by$audience$as$noble$and$good$
o Mystery-$must$have$element$of$the$plot$that$is$missing$
o Action/horror-$driven$by$good$and$evil$built$on$startle$reflex-$from$something$
moving$very$fast$
Comedy-$characterized$by$minor$conflict$situations,$which$flare$up$and$set$the$action$in$
motion$
o Character$comedy/comedy$of$manners$
Humor$which$arises$out$of$character$quirks$that$illuminate$the$craziness$of$
everyday$situations$
o Put-down$comedy$
Involves$certain$characters$that$have$power$over$other$characters$and$exercise$
tha$power$in$humorous$ways$laugh$at$someone$
Romance$
o Begins$with$a$person$experiences$either$loneliness$from$a$lack$of$relationship$or$a$
relationship$that$is$bad$due$to$betrayal,$jealousy,$or$fear$
Entertainment&Formula:&Constraints!
Telling$an$entertaining$story$presents$a$different$challenge$as$you$move$from$one$medium$
to$another$
o Commercial$television$is$one$of$the$most$challenging$media$for$telling$stories$
o There$is$a$significant$amount$of$competition$for$audiences$
o Producers$must$keep$audiences$engaged,$so$they$don't$change$the$channel$during$
commercials$
Entertainment$messages$on$the$bed$also$intense$competition$
Hollywood$films$also$face$challenges$as$many$films$fail$in$the$box$office$
Storytelling$formulas$must$evolve$as$public$tastes$change$overtime$
o The$line$of$acceptability$has$changed$over$time$
o On$tv,$sexual$portrayals$and$violence$that$offended$people$in$the$1980s$wouldn't$
faze$people$today$
o With$music,$the$basic$formula$for$popular$songs$is$a$story$about$love$or$sex,$but$
songs$have$become$much$more$explicit$overtime$
Dealing&with&Risk!
Huge$risk$in$selecting$stories$to$present$on$television$
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