The Secret Language of Meaning
in Film, TV, Games and Visual Media
Pamela Jaye Smith
SYMBOLS.IMAGES.CODES explores the universal language of visual imagery in story-telling, be those stories films or TV, games, musicals, marketing or campaigns. Learning to work with symbols and images can make your students more viable and valuable in a world where visual communication is increasingly more important.
Writing Classes, Directing Classes, Photography Classes, Design Classes, Costume Classes — instructors will find relevant examples, suggestions, and assignments for the various symbols covered in this book.
The book introduces symbols as a very early form of communication and explores some of the science behind how symbols work in our brains, as well as some of the forms that symbolism serves, such as Allegory, Metaphor, Synecdoche, etc.
Each Chapter can be one or more lessons, depending on the amount of time you wish to spend on the various aspects and examples about that particular symbol.
All Chapters list many films and other media to view, attend, play, and discuss.
The USE, WRITTEN DESCRIPTIONS, and CINEMATIC TECHNIQUES sections in each Chapter can generate in-class discussions, field trips, verbal and written reports.
The nature of the information is such that you can randomly select Chapters or follow their order in the book.
The EXERCISES section provides specific creativity assignments.
The extensive INDEX can also be a class guide.
Depending on the size of your class, the time spent in each session, the number of examples you present, and the nature of your application assignments, each Chapter could cover from one to four lessons.
Because SYMBOLS.IMAGES.CODES explores that most basic attribute of human nature – the desire to communicate — the applications of its principles, examples, and exercises are limitless.
Depending on the length of your course, the information in each chapter can be extensively explored, or combined with other chapters for an overview.
A history of Symbols
How Symbols work
- ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY
- THE LEAP
- STEPS AND STAIRS
The following CHAPTERS can each be expanded into a number of class sessions with the book’s and your own exploration and explanations.
- CULTURAL REFERENCES
- SITUATIONS AND SYMBOLS
- GOING NATIVE
- SEX, LOVE, AND ROMANCE
- WEAPONS, WOUNDS, AND DEATHS
The EXERCISES chapter contains 15 specific creativity exercises using symbols. Some include:
- Shifting Symbols within a Scene
- Shifting Symbols over Time
- Imagery Across Cultures
- Spoof this
- …and ten more
The extensive INDEX has three sections that can be covered in one class, in one class for each section, or by going more in depth on the various symbols, expanded into six or nine classes with exploration of the given examples plus those of the instructor and students.
SUGGESTED MEDIA AIDS:
film clips, photos, illustrations, excerpts from the examples.
Field trips to performances and places where symbols are significant: Masonic temples, houses of worship, art galleries, libraries, civic buildings, etc.
SUGGESTED STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS:
For various symbols — find more examples in media and in real life, do the exercises, write reports, write scenes, design scenes, direct scenes.
Pamela Jaye Smith
7231 Franklin Ave. #5
Hollywood, CA 90046
Michael Wiese Productions