Cultural Consumption Task 17

Learn a new word each day for a week

For this task, I started just trying to find a new word a day off of random websites, however I realised this was pretty pointless, as the words I was finding, I would almost certainly never be able to put to use (such as ‘unciform’ – hook shaped, and ‘palatal’ – a dentistry term meaning the side of an upper tooth facing the palate).

I thought it would be a better idea to learn words or terminology relevant to my practice, so I researched documentary/television/film vocabulary, as this is an area of practice I am interested in. I picked seven words or phrases I didn’t already know, and tried to remember a different one each day:

Monday: Mise en Scene – All of the elements placed in front of the camera to be photographed: the setting and props, lighting, costumes and make-up, and figure behaviour.

Tuesday: Expository Documentary – A nonfiction film that covers a subject by emphasising verbal commentary and argumentative logic.

Wednesday: Interrotron – A device that functions simultaneously as a camera and TelePrompTer-like projector, to capture an interview subject’s close up responses to questions posed during interviews.

Thursday: Epilogue – At the end of the documentary there is a clip that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what happened.

Friday: Inter-tile – The narrator’s comments are written out and flashed up on the screen for the audience to read.

Saturday: Antagonist – The main character, person, group, society, nature, force, spirit world, bad guy, or villain of a film or script who is in adversarial conflict with the film’s hero, lead character or protagonist; also sometimes termed the heavy.

Sunday: Performative Mode – In documentary filmmaking, where the emphasis is on the filmmaker’s subjective attitude or personal engagement with a subject, shown to evoke audience reaction.

The process was very helpful, I think knowing technical terms is a good way of broadening my understanding of the practice. I may try this approach again, for part of the first half of my visual literacy project, by learning some more specific terms used in interviews/documentaries.

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