Week 11: Contexts of Production and Reception

‘The context of production is the situation or circumstances in which a text is produced with significant factors influencing the writing or speaking of a text.’

The context of production for the Film the Hunger games revolves around authors Suzanne collins and director Gary Ross. The film originating from the Hunger games novel was written by Suzanne Collins in 2008 followed by the film adaption made in 2012.

Suzanne Collin shares her inspiration for the novel in the following videos. Collins explains that the idea occurred whilst television channel surfing between multiple reality, action and war documentary programs. The ideas seemed to merge together to create a fictional society so consumed with materialism as the reality tv programs in our world today reflect and the Panem society that has become desensitised to war and human suffering.

The social behaviours and opinions somewhat reflect issues in our society today of the unequal distribution of wealth over social classes and the western society that has become numb to the real effects of war on people due to their over consumption of digital information such as violent video games and reality tv shows.

At the time of the novels design process in 2008 American troops were fighting in Iraq and it was popular headlines, even in New Zealand, there was great tribulation yet we were so content with viewing the material because of our lack of empathy and personal connection with the subjects involved. This is reflected in the Capitol people in Panem whom enjoy watching children brutally fight until death for reality television entertainment.

I believe one of the largest contributing factors (the film adaptation) of the Hunger games ability to present such disturbing themes to young adults and tweens was because of the viral video and virtual protest phenomenon known as ‘KONY 2012’ released in the same year. This short documentary films aim was to gain awareness for the increasing number of “invisible children” or child soldiers in african countries.

 

‘The context of reception is the situation or circumstances in which a text is received with significant factors influencing the reading or listening of a text.’

The context of the release of the film adaptation was that the children/young adults had read the book and were obsessing over the film, they were excited that Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutchinson were going to star and I wonder if the exact opposite of Suzanne Collins intentions for the film were received by the intended audience.This is demonstrated in the fan photo below. The young clientele chose between the love triangle of Peeta and Gale which was a minor theme in the film and novel and excluding themselves from being effected by the real horrors and effects on children on a war stricken country. This just proves the designers inability to control the received perceptions of their audience.

fans

For the slightly older viewers, young adults, myself included I found the comparisons of the realities of the fictional Panem to our society today were shockingly similar.

I would definitely consider myself the ideal audience for the film for many reasons including being the start of the generations that are saturated with virtual living and free access to information, I agree with Suzanne collins in that I am one of many in the people group of this generation in a western country unaffected by war our selves and have become unsensitised to wars atrocities and effects on children because of our constant television consumption and materialism. Also because of the female heroine I believe I can relate to her more, I also have younger sisters as does Katniss in the Hunger games.

We can tell the audience in which is targeted by this film and novel because of the age of the characters involved especially main protagonist Katniss Everdeen being around the age of 17. No tween wants to see a film all about 60 year olds. The novels are written with more simplicity than others and the sci fi, coming of age, dystopian genres of the film intrigue the tween/teen/young adult audience because of their growing desire to understand the future.

 

 

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