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Moving Image Terminology + Semiotics

Rob Miller | Tuesday September 27, 2011

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC A2, WJEC A2 Media Studies, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies, Film, Film Language, Key Concepts, Media Language, Theory, Semiotic Theory

Associated Resources

  • Moving Image Terminology and Semiotics.doc


The study of signs that help us to deconstruct Media Texts


The physical form of the sign, without deeper meaning


Meaning associated with the relationship between signifier and signified. Connotation is open to interpretation

Mythical Connotation

Meaning which is subjective interpretation, yet untrue

Anchored Meaning

A Media Text has a reinforced meaning, e.g. in Advertising


Many meanings e.g. a photograph has many connotations without the addition of text


Where meaning is put into a Media Text


Where meaning is deconstructed by the target audience

Dominant Preferred Meaning

The meaning that the producer of the media text wishes the audience to deconstruct

Oppositional Reading

Where the audience deconstruct the opposite of what is intended

Negotiated Reading

The sub-conscious meaning that is formed between the relationship with producer and target audience

Technical Codes

Constructed codes e.g. Camera angle, types of shot, types of edit, type of lens, SFX, Sound, Framing, Focus

Symbolic Codes

Cultural Representations – in film the mise en scene can be described as symbolic codes ie they ‘stand’ for something

Mise en Scene

The Mise en Scene comprises – setting, objects and props, body language, pose and posture, gaze or ‘the look’, lighting and colour – everything in the shot

Narrative Enigma

Limit audience understanding to ensure 100% concentration and engagement with the narrative

Sound Bridges

A piece of music is carried across two different scenes to connect the narrative

Non-diegetic sound

Sound added during the process of post production e.g. music


Up and down camera movement


Left to right/right to left

Star Marketing

Where a film is marketed to audiences primarily on the status of the A’ List celebrity

Genre Marketing

Where a film is...

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