Finding a Basic Interpretive Unit through the Human Visual Perception and Cognition-A Comparison between Filmmakers and Audiences

Dissertation, (2016)
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The analysis method and paradigm of film have become a controversial topic in the data-driven era. Film, is not only an attractive industry that can achieve filmmakers’ imagination but has become a perfect stimulus to understand human being’s mental activity. The core research in this study is to examine the impact of filmmaking experience and the role of narrative denoters from filmmakers’ construction to audiences’ interpretation. Based on previous studies and integrating cognitive approaches, the thesis re-explores the nature and essence of film and proposes an alternative term - narrative denoter - which can be used as the indication of message exchanging between filmmakers and audiences. Using a released film that has a complete story to do the experiment, this study investigates the relationship between major, film interpretations, event segmentation, and audience’s preference. The result showed that filmmaking experience does not impact the interpretation of film; however the identification of the narrative denoter played an important role in film perception and cognition; apart from these, the audience’s preference did not correlate with film interpretation. With respect to this result, the narrative denoter can be indicator to demonstrate the message transitions from filmmaker to audience. Suggestions were made for future cognitive film studies on using the narrative denoters as a new analysis unit.
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