Film and media research can take a number of forms and use various methodologies. For example, an analysis of film can have an approach that is philosophical, theoretical, sociological, political or historical. Researchers can study film as an art form, focusing on its style and technique to analyse its aesthetic value. Alternatively, they can deconstruct a show’s narrative structure to evaluate the presence of tropes and how it might condition its audience into a certain way of thinking. Researchers can study cognitive processing of images and sounds or conduct large audience surveys to understand how stories are received and interpreted. Then there is the option to study performance or a national cinema to understand how films are a reflection of a certain culture.
However, it is not all about film. Media encompasses social media, advertising, television, magazines and the news. Researchers may analyse these areas in a similar way, but advertising, for example, does not exist in a vacuum, and for this reason a researcher can evaluate how various elements interact, such as the merchandising and marketing of a successful show. In this area, researchers have the ability to analyse consumers and use a skill more associated with business. Lastly, of course, there are the practical skills of writing, filming, editing, and marketing. This list is in no way exhaustive, but what it does illustrate is just how exciting film and media research can be and why you should be interested to learn more.
Spot On, Doc believes that academic research is beneficial to society, and that media literacy is key to understanding our world. As academics, we conduct research in this exciting area and disseminate the information to you through podcasts and articles, and we hope that our findings will enrich your film and media experience.