Here is a basic overview of the key terms I have learnt:
- Signifier and Signified - A signifier is a detail we see, which we interpret into a symbolic meaning, which is the signified. Such as bad weather can signify something bad is about to happen.
- Binary Opposition - The juxtaposition, contrast, between something we see on screen. This is a key device for generating conflict and drama. (male/female) (poor/rich) (rural/urban)
- Polysemy/Anchorage - With every media text being polysemic (it has many possible meanings) Anchorage is needed to pin down the key interpretation intended for the media text, which is done by use of signifiers.
- Commutation Test - Always consider what we don't see the choices the producers have rejected.
- Preferred/Contested/Oppositional reading - Preferred reading is mainly considered, by following what the producers wish us to follow, but as texts are polysemic, they are open to contested or oppositional readings. In our own media productions we will have to include signifiers to allow the audience to follow the preferred reading.
- Narrative Enigma - Mysterious elements within a text form a narrative enigma.
- Audio Bridge - Having music playing over the top of two (or more) scenes, which links them together