Semiology is the study of signs and symbols and how through decoding, they can have different interpretations. In both films and TV everything has a meaning, but it is up to the audience to decode it and decide what that meaning is. Directors and film crews put so much detail into just one scene which is why its so important to analyse the semiology and find out more.
An example of semiology and things having different interpretations would be colours. Colours can be used to portray different emotions or messages and the table I have created shows how the same colour can convey many different connotations.
Creating a character for the TV show skins.
‘Skins page 1’ https://a2ua.com/skins.html (no date)
In film and TV semiology can be shown through a variety of elements including colour, clothes, body language, props and scenery. When studying the opening scene of ‘Skins’ we were able to find out a vast amount about each character just from seeing their bedrooms, outfits and what they were doing. Here is the character I have created:
- The character I have created for the show is Jack.
- He is a very quiet and anxious character which is presented through his body language and his hands constantly tapping and fidgeting.
- He wears very basic clothes, usually plain coloured such as grey hoping not to not draw attention to himself.
- He has messy brown hair and being quite an awkward person he doesn’t have the most fashionable outfits and isn’t bothered about having new shoes or keeping up with the latest trends.
- His bedroom is averagely messy for a teenage boy however the main focus of his bedroom is his TV and Xbox as he spends a lot of time in his room, suggesting he is anti-social and prefers to be in his room than socialising with friends.
Opening scene analysis
The TV show opening that I have chose is Gossip Girl. I have chosen this as I believe it clearly displays the personality of each character just through the first scene.
The first character we meet in the scene is Serena. Her outfit is very put together and classy and she is holding a designer hand bag which presents the fact that she is wealthy. The next two characters we meet, Dan and Jenny, are wearing more casual clothes such as a stripy jumper and old looking shirt suggesting they are of less wealth than Serena. These characters are greeted and hugged at the train station by their father showing they are family orientated and have a good relationship with him. Opposingly, Serena is greeted by a valet driver, suggesting she has a more distant relationship with her family. The scene also shows Serena’s arrival home to be followed with a glamour party, again suggesting her and her friend’s lifestyle to be very upper class. The character Nate’s first appearance is with his father and both characters are wearing neat and expensive looking suits. The low camera angle used when his father talks immediately shows him to be domineering and just from their conversation about college you can tell his strict nature and that he is controlling of Nate. The character Chuck is shown to be sitting with a group of girls and an alcoholic drink in his hand which clearly presents his character and that he likes to go out and party. His pink shirt and undone tie also suggests he is more relaxed and care free than Nate who wears a more traditional black suit. The end of the clip shows Serena arriving in a black car and the security guard bows his hat at her, again emphasising her status and importance.
‘Gossip Girl Episode 1 Part 1 Season 1’ Savage. S (2007) available at https://youtu.be/8C2lg3Jo44E – last accessed 26/09/16
‘Skins’ (no date) https://a2ua.com/skins.html- last accessed 26/09/16
‘Semiotics’ Gorman. N (2010) http://www.slideshare.net/nicgorman/semiotics-3430310 – last accessed 26/09/16
‘Skins Episode 1 Season 1’ SkinsFish (2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEeoe02TKJw – last accessed 26/09/16