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MAGIC MOVIES The Complication The lodger’s robbery plan unfolds, “Help me, Gromit!” PowerPoint PPT Presentation

P U M P U P T H E F U N ! Greg Hale, Centre for Usable Home Technology (CUHTec) University of York, United Kingdom. Supervisor: Andrew Monk. THE CHALLENGE This PhD uses schema theory to explore how familiar patterns and novel content foster fun in entertainment products such as movies.

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MAGIC MOVIES The Complication The lodger’s robbery plan unfolds, “Help me, Gromit!”

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Pump up the fun

PUMP UP THE FUN!

Greg Hale, Centre for Usable Home Technology (CUHTec)

University of York, United Kingdom. Supervisor: Andrew Monk

  • THE CHALLENGE

  • This PhD uses schema theory to explore how familiar patterns and novel content foster fun in entertainment products such as movies.

  • Schema theory offers insights into patterns (Bartlett 1932, Mandler 1984, Bordwell 1985). For example, people have a schema of ‘breakfast’ which contains slots for food and drink. The specific food and drink varies according to culture and person, but the time of day is always the same.

  • INTENDED OUTPUTS

  • 1) A new entertainment design method 2) New insights into schemas 3) A new research framework 4) A new method of analyzing entertainment.

  • MAGIC

  • MOVIES

  • The Chase

  • The madcap train ride, “I’ll catch the bounder, Gromit!”

  • TWO STUDIES ON STRUCTURE

  • The short films Ice Cream Dream and The Wrong Trousers were schematically analysed.

  • Ice Cream Dream. Schematic analysis revealed weak structuring, multiple uses of an uncommon schema (‘selling ice cream from a van’) and little novel slot content. Additionally, schemas were not always causally linked together and key characters and scenes were not always causally integrated into the story.

  • The Wrong Trousers. This OscarTM winning movie was strongly structured using common and familiar schemas such as ‘birthday’ and ‘robbery’, with novel slot content such as the NASA ‘technotrousers’. There were no multiple uses of the same schema and the movie contained no superfluous characters or scenes.

  • MAGIC

  • MOVIES

  • The Inciting Event

  • “Oh dear, Gromit - large bills! We shall have to take in a lodger!”

  • MAGIC

  • MOVIES

  • The Happy Ending

  • “That reward has paid off all our debts! Cheese, Gromit?”

  • THREE STUDIES ON TALK

  • Viewer’s talk was investigated for two short films (Ice Cream Dream and The Wrong Trousers) and from viewer’s reviews on the Internet Movie Database.

  • Ice Cream Dream. Viewers were confused about the movie’s genre (which is a high level schema) and were unclear about elements of the movie such as primary relationships and on-screen items.

  • The Wrong Trousers. Viewers expressed enjoyment of the characters, their relationship, comic elements of the story and the animation.

  • Online movie reviews. Schematic elements identified over the course of the PhD form key structuring elements in viewer’s reviews of movies.

  • FUTURE WORK

  • The research shows the importance of the clear use of familiar schemas with novel slot content, wrapped in an engaging story. The research also shows that multiple uses of uncommon schemas with standard slot content can hinder enjoyment.

  • Future work is to explore the schematic framework developed during the PhD in the context of computer games, mobile games and pervasive games.

  • REFERENCES

  • Bartlett, F.C. (1932) Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology.

  • Bordwell, D. (1985) Narration in the fiction film.

  • Mandler, J.M. (1984) Stories, scripts and scenes. Aspects of schema theory.

  • MAGIC

  • MOVIES

  • The Complication

  • The lodger’s robbery plan unfolds, “Help me, Gromit!”


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