2. SOCIAL GROUPS
• Social Groups are important to consider when determining who your target audience for your media
product should be. We did a lot of research into target demographics to ensure that the group we
targeted would be interested in our media product. Social Groups are used across many media
variations and they often represent an individuals personality or chosen lifestyle.
• For our media product, I believe we have focussed more on age, gender, social class and ethnicity. It is
important to meet and challenge social groups within a media product to ensure that it appeals to a
wide range of demographics, as well as our primary target audience.
• It is important to consider if our media product fits in with theorists and what they have believed in. Most media products follow Todorov’s theory, however our media
product fits more with Levi-Strauss and Barthes.
• Levi-Strauss introduced the notion of binary opposites as a useful way to consider the production of meaning within narratives. He argued that all construction of meaning
was dependant on the following oppositions.
• Good v. Evil
• Male v. Female
• Humanity v. Technology
• Nature v. Industrialism
• East v. West
• Dark v. Light
• Dirt v. Cleanliness
• “Immunity” fits into several of these oppositions. For example, we see clear evidence of Good v. Evil in our product as we see innocent individuals attempting to survive
against the evil which, in our case, is the zombies. We also, in some cases, see Human v. Technology. At the beginning of our film opening we see news reporters, which is
a clear use of technology to broadcast to the population. Afterwards, we see humans trying to survive. Another opposition our film opening fits into would be Dark v.
Light. It fits into this opposition because of the lighting we have used during filming. Individuals who are seen in natural lighted locations are more likely to survive than
someone who is in a low key lighted location, which makes them typically, against each other. I do believe that the other oppositions left do fit into our film opening some
way, but not enough to justify it into a reason.
• Barthes suggested five codes for a narrative.
• The Hermeneutic Code ( the enigma )
• The Proairetic Code ( the action )
• The Semic Code ( the images )
• The Symbolic Code ( the subtext )
• The Referential Code ( the cultural influence )
• I believe that our film opening fits into the majority of these codes that Barthes suggested. Throughout our
product there is a vast amount of enigma present, thus adding to the suspense we wanted to create originally.
We have also included a vast amount of action within our opening, so our media product fits with this. The
images we show to the audience connote the idea that the individuals featured are in danger or are not to be
ventured neared as it could cause someone innocent to bring more danger and threat upon themselves.
However, I would not say that our film opening fits with the Symbolic Code or the Referential Code as it is
more focussed around one area rather than being representative of the entire world population.
• Originally I aimed to include individuals from a wide range of age groups so show variation and to reinforce
the idea that anyone can become a zombie and there is no getting away from what would eventually cease
them. As we moved further and further into the filming process, I discovered that including a wide range of
individuals who were different ages was going to become proceedingly difficult, so I decided to use the
options best available to me and use a set of actors who were young. Although we did not originally intend to
do this, the subtext that could have been portrayed to the audience is one in which it suggests that the young
actors and their characters are weak and cannot survive in a world where they are threatened daily.
• The majority of the actors that were casted were teenagers or young adults – this was decided as it would
break generic conventions of our genre and challenge them. Within “Immunity” the teenagers are shown
being, stereotypically, unsocial, delinquent and rude. They are sat around in a park smoking which shows that
they are not “bothered” by what is happening as they may perhaps feel superior and untouchable compared
to everyone else that they see. They are also shown as a stereotypical modern day teenager as each time that
they are displayed on-screen, the lighting is slightly low key which can represent their anti-social behaviour to
the audience. The low-key lighting could also connote to the audience the idea that they are insignificant
when compared to the epidemic which is taking place.
• The group also chose to use a younger actor to play one of the zombies we originally intended to use within
the park scene. Although this young zombie was not included in the park scene due to unappropriated
circumstances, she was able to be used in other scenes which fitted better. The twelve year old represents
something that the film opening does not show often – the idea of weakness and frailty. The fact that she had
“turned” into a zombie clearly represents this idea – she was unable to take care of herself during the
epidemic and so had gotten bit, turning her into a zombie and showing that she is weak and unable to defend
herself in the wider and bigger world.
• Although she has turned and this can show signs of weakness, it could also connote to the audience how her
“new” life is different to that of her old one – she is now strong and will do anything she can to survive. This is
represented with her eating out of a pram. The baby is vulnerable and an easy target, although might not
necessarily be easy to get to. The aspect of the baby not being easily accessible can suggest that the young
zombie has fought to get to her prey, and that makes her stronger than she was before. The use of a baby in
our film opening creates an emotive connection for the audience as many can relate to seeing or having a
baby. This aspect meets the conventions of our zombie genre but also challenges them as it is not common to
see a baby being eaten so vividly and for so long.
• Stereotypically in zombie films the male to female ratio is somewhat 4:1. However, “Immunity”
challenges this stereotype because we have included more casted female actresses than male actors.
This has not been done intentionally, but as a consequence shows that females can be just as strong as
males when put into a situation where they are required to use their strength and knowledge against
whatever is challenging them – in this case, a zombie.
• The costume we decided for our female actresses show innocence and vulnerability. The one sole
female zombie that we have is wearing white clothing which suggests innocence despite having
“turned”. This white clothing suggests that the female zombie is pure and the clothing worn
• The males that have been chosen to act within our film opening were told to wear darker clothing
which connotes to the audience their bad behaviour and anti-social attitude. It also connotes to the
them the idea that they are stronger because their clothing is darker, which meets the generic
conventions of a zombie film.
10. SOCIAL CLASS AND LOCATION
• The Social Class differentiated dependant on what scene it was and what characters were included.
• Within the park scene, the teenagers are shown to be working class through the choice of clothing, the
clothing being hoodies and jogging bottoms. The idea that they are working class is also supported by their
actions; they begin smoking and their body language was more closed, the actors being slouched and
hunched over each other.
• The non-diegetic sound that is played over the top of this scene and throughout the rest of the two minute
film opening would suggest that the teenagers were from a middle class background because of the classical
• The use of lighting within the park scene is naturalistic, but this changes when we are greeted by the zombies.
Whenever a zombie is shown on screen, the lighting changes from naturalistic to low key. This connotes to
the audience danger and that they should be cautious. However, it does also suggest that no matter what
social class you come from you would all potentially react the same way and run from the danger posed to
11. SOCIAL CLASS AND LOCATION
• This means that a positive representation of the group of teenagers has been portrayed, which meets
with the generic stereotypes of this social class. The scenes featuring the teenagers only change (in
relation to lighting aspects) when zombies are seen, which suggests that the illness that got the zombies
could potentially catch one of the teenagers, leading to the conclusion that it will make them
disorientated rather than pure and innocent.
• However, when we see the small boy zombie hitting against the car window we cannot really determine
what social class he is from because we cannot see his face properly, nor what he is wearing which
suggests that there is an absence of social class. This idea can suggest that because he is a zombie he
does not need a social class, since this has become irrelevant.
• Because of this, there are factors within the media piece which neither challenge nor meet stereotypes
as the shot of the individual is unclear and therefore social class is undeterminable.
• In “Immunity”, there is a single character that is of a black origin. The rest of the actors which we filmed
are of a white origin. I decided to include this actor as a zombie to demonstrate that during a zombie
apocalypse anyone can be affected by what is happening and by doing so allowed me to create a
realistic effect upon the audience. The added fact that there is only one black zombie connotes the
concept that no one is safe and then even ethnic minorities are not safe from what will eventually
• In conclusion, our media product represents different social groups in different ways, including social
class, age, gender and ethnicity, as well as the locations used whilst filming. I have challenged and met
different stereotypes of social groups and each choice I have made has contributed to make the film
opening successful which will appeal to our target demographic and others not in that bracket.