Media Report Comparing Film and Top Gear Magazine

I have researched the technical and visual codes used in FILM magazines covers, contents pages and double page spreads. I have analysed one double page spread, one contents page and two magazine covers (Empire). I have analysed a Top Gear magazine cover to contrast with the FILM magazine. I have researched the technical codes, fonts, text style, shot types, language, layout, positioning and alignment of text, colours, image conventions to genre and I have researched the connotations of the media language used in the magazine covers, contents pages and the double page spread, because I’m keenly interested in FILM and I read the magazines.

Features and convention of FILM magazines;

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•Main character viewer’s main focal point.

•One film.

•Issue number, price, barcode and magazine website.

•Colours up to 4 for text.

•Strap lines.

•Masthead top-left corner and largest text.

•Image reflects audience, often a mid-shot, mis-en-scene for genre.

•Often have a dark background.

•Image dominates the page.


•Banners and buzz words – ‘free’, ‘exclusive’, ‘only’.

•Props suggest main genre of films featured.

•They use primary colours because they are simple and bold.

•The shots used are close ups and mid shots.

•The names of actors, actresses and famous directors are featured. Name of the featured film is the second largest piece of text.

•Anchorage Text is used, which the text which overlaps the main image to explain what the story is about..

•Information that could determine that the audience will buy this magazine is featured. Free posters (top).

•4 different fonts. They vary in size, colour, bold/italic, capitalised, san serif and serif.

•Graphics and colours as iconography for audiences to determine a genre.

•Sell lines to indicate information inside.

1. Masthead is large, bold, dark orange, simple and effective. Stands out because the background behind it is dark and the text is light and bold, so it contrasts looking imposing and in your face.

1. The colours of the distortion behind the car mirrors its colour, like the car is so quick the light captured from the camera is faded.

1. The text with a brown background is using the font AG Book Stencil BQ-Medium (Berthold) is bold. Text colour contrasts as background is light and the text is dark, stands out.

1. The orange coloured text used on the black background, so it’s clearer and bolder which makes the masthead stand out.

1. The fast paced car is very in your face and intimidating almost, in the way it is presented. An example of this is – NEW LAMBO, in massive bold text.

1. “New Lambo” makes people intrigued as it features new images and information about a new model of car.

1. Flashy car that a lot of people want (car lovers entices because of the genre).

1. Headlines are typical with this style of magazine; car stories readers will find interesting.

1. Aimed at mainly males due to the language-“Thrust mode”

1. You can see the side and the front, therefore looking at all of its main features as it is coming towards you.

1. For the common man to dream about having.

1. Subheadings stand out because they’re bold clean cut and bright, and match the main colour of the magazine.

1. “Deranged 560 BHP”, a monstrous effect rather than the classy one.

1. “Hyperspace”, Lambo’s immense speed entices audiences.

1. The edges on the car are emphasised because of the lighting, makes you see how dynamic and technological advanced and sleek it is. It’s time consuming and a lot of effort has gone into it.

1. Clarkson is very well known. Secondary promotion.

1. BBC, is at the top left and the first thing you see. It is advertisement of the huge company, and this is also advertising the TOP GEAR show. Brand that you trust.

1. The language-“bhp”, “v12”, “Gallardo”, is associated with car enthusiasts; this will entice and relate to them.

1. Language like “thrust mode”, on a lads mag is an innuendo. This also helps to target the audience with informal mode of address, as it is friendly and manly language.

1. “Hyperspace” refers to Sci-Fi genres, and a convention of the genre would be the classy smooth and stylish look of advanced cars, like this.

1. Exclamation marks target the audience into seeing what’s so urgent and exiting. Also, an exaggeration, like “the best car”, this is a hyperbole.

1. Red draws attention and a connotation is violence; this reflects the image of a weapon.

2. Actor looking down on the audience shows dominant hierarchy.

3. The red of the masthead contrasts with grey background. Blue and red stand.

4. Audience will focus their attention to the text,

5. Only 4/5 of the masthead for Empire is shown as the main protagonist covers it, draws attention away from the popular masthead and makes the audience focus on the character.

6. Blue is calming and friendly and contrasts with the harshness of red.

7. Words such as ‘epic’, ‘exclusives’ and ‘greatest’ are used to promote. Brad Pitt is mentioned and this promotes the film due to popularity.

8. Director is also well known, but not as important as” Tarantino’s” is grey on a darker background.

9. Brads like a driving force for the cover.

10. The font is instantly recognisable as the EMPIRE font. It is a simple but effective and bold.

11. “INGLOURIOUS EPIC IS HERE!” is faded and this seems to run in red which has a connotation of blood, and can also relate to the weapon.

12. Proud and contempt facial expressions relate to looking powerful and important with the weapon.

13. “1001” is in white and blue, which is a calmer colour than the bolder and more fierce and harsh red, and they both contrast.

14. The “exclusiveness” part promotes the film to people who want a sneak peak, unique to Empire.

15. Language like “wowser” is informal and is leading the audience to think positively and entice them.

These features all apply to drawing in the target audience of film magazines, from ages 17-30, who are interested in FILM and enjoy it, as they use iconography for FILM magazines which appeals to people of that age range. I will use these key findings that I collected when analysing to create my own pieces of magazines, that follow the conventions and the norms of the pieces I have analysed, but make some variations to broaden my audience, that show the generic conventions used in the covers and the inside material. I will use all of the features and conventions above to help appeal to the target audience of FILM magazines, which on average is males, aged 25 according to the media pack for Empire.

I will use an informal but direct mode of address to help draw them in, using appropriately coloured text, including an often top margin, large masthead. A range of san serif and serif fonts to appeal to professional FILM enthusiasts and average people will be used. Appropriate images on the cover with a convention of mid shots to appeal to the target audience of 25 year old males using the images consisting of stars will be used.

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