Fascinations of fiction: An examination of devices used within the television programme Buffy the Vampire Slayer that succeed in blurring the boundaries between viewers and the fictional diegesis of the show

Goile, Joanne Elizabeth
Ings, Welby
Musgrave, Diane
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Master of Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Serial television programmes have become a daily or weekly occurrence in many viewers’ lives that are awaited with anticipation and delight (Corner, 1999: 95-99). Fictional, narrative television programmes such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), utilize the inherent structures of television to present its viewers with a believable diegesis. The continual presentation of the fictional diegesis as a ‘real’ place results in the breaking down of boundaries that exist between viewers’ worlds and the text. As these boundaries blur, the fictional world of the programme is extended into its viewers’ worlds and expanded further through their continued involvement. The diegesis of the show comes to exist far past the limits of the television programme, integrated within viewers’ lives and expanded by them in acts of creative ‘play’.

This thesis contains two components, a written analysis, and a creative video work that illustrates and reflects upon the written text. The written text considers devices used within the construction of Buffy that reinforce the realism of the diegesis, and the expansion of the Buffy universe past the confines of the television screen. These key ideas are considered in relation to the blurring of boundaries between the viewer and the diegesis of the show. The practical work comments on key ideas within the written analysis utilizing creative methods used by viewers in the expansion of the show’s diegesis. The written component constitutes 80% of the weighting and the practical component comprises the remaining 20%. The practical component will be exhibited within X-space from the 25th – 28th of February 2004.

Buffy, the vampire slayer , Television program , Fictitious character , Television
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