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Elise Thompson

Uses and Gratification Theory


This theory was a theory devised by Blumler and Katz that is an
approach to the understanding of mass communication in oppose to
most narrative theories this approach focuses on the consumer
rather than the on goings of the production, by theorizing that
people who use media have an active role in choosing the types of
mediums they use to meet their needs to fulfil their specific
gratifications. It assumes that audiences are not passive but do take
an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own
lives. There are four main reasons that people use media:
Knowledge/Information:
Audiences will seek knowledge and information from media
mediums and then try to utilize them into their daily life. In our
production the protagonist suffers from a mental illness, therefore,
the audience will be able to have a deeper insight into what life with
a mental illness could be like for a sufferer and therefore it may
make audiences look at sufferers in a more sympathetic way.
Viewers will find security in knowing that the characters in the
production are actually all sane and happy and not the way Adam
depicts them. In society, things such as mental illness are not
frequently portrayed in a positive light and therefore audiences
have created a negative ideology around sufferers, this production
will hopefully teach audiences a different representation of them.
Personal identity:
Audience may relate to desirable characters and even incorporate
their behaviour into their everyday life. In our production our
protagonist Adam, puts himself in a rather life threatening situation
when he goes through his suicidal phase, suicide is something that
is a number of individuals may suffer with, his shift in characteristics
(from disequilibrium stage to his restored equilibrium stage) could
be inspirational to audiences watching, possibly encouraging them
to mimic this ideal and take a more positive outlook to life. On the
other hand, audiences may criticise Adams choices throughout the
film and contemplate whether they would behave in the same way if
they were in that situation.
Entertainment/Escapism:
Audiences may enjoy the experience of the film and also use the
narrative and characters to escape the reality of their life. Audiences
may escape the reality of their life by reflecting on the characters
life; if there is an issue in their personal life escaping from it to
venture into text that shows a negative viewpoint of someone else
life may make them feel better about any negativity in theirs as

Elise Thompson
they can compare and possibly realise they could be in a much
worse situation such as the protagonist.
Social Interactions/Integration:
The age of our target audience is wide enough to incorporate
families that have teenagers within it; some families may attend our
screenings. Because of the hauntings conventions of the genre
viewers may feel more comfortable watching our production with a
friend or group of friends. This may help to create conversations
about our production after screening. Also the characters within our
production are teenagers/young adults so are relatable to our target
audience conversations about relations between our audience and
characters could be sparked to form connections between them.
Audiences will therefore hopefully recommend our production to
their families and friends. Also, the subject of mental health may
help audience to sympathise and feel empathetic for our protagonist
Adam.