Soaps often have special episodes for Soap operasSoap operas include events in the real world. E.g. always includemultiple main characters Christmas, New Years Eve. This is to conflict andin order to allow create the sense of realism and also disequilibriummultiple parallel build suspense as these special betweennarratives and episodes usually demonstrate characters toconvergence to keep the powerful storylines and outcomes that create tensionaudience interested and happen on these days to keep the and reflect realattract their attention. audience wanting to watch more. life conflicts. Every soap contains an openingSoap episodes often Lighting is generally theme tune during the title cardbegin with a ‘hook’ basic and features day which sets the scene for the soapwhere one or more of lighting. However, in and makes it instantly memorable.the narratives from a some soaps such as The However, soap operas rarelyprevious episode are Only Way Is Essex, the contain music throughout the soapcontinued. This will lighting used is a lot unless there is a particular piece ofusually end with a ‘cliff- brighter and flatters the music used for dramatic purposes,hanger’ to create characters to make them which generally has repetitivesuspense and tension look appealing unlike in beats and a harmonic dronewithin the soap. soaps like Coronation throughout. Street.
Social Realism soaps Plots are open-ended and an Editing in Socialinclude storylines that episode usually consists of three Realism soaps is veryare based on real life or four storylines which means that subtle featuring naturaland everyday issues there is no set narrative as social transitions betweensuch as family realism soaps are continuous. The scenes. There has toarguments, crimes and episodes usually end with a cliff- be an element ofaffairs. This is so the hanger to build suspense and continuity in Realismaudience can relate to attract the audiences attention so soaps.them and. they continue to watch the soap. Examples of SocialCamera work is kept Characters in Realism soaps have Realism soaps:simple and avoids any an accent and dialogue that matchestricks to help create a the location of the soap. This is torealistic product. The build on the regional identity of thecamera acts as a casual soap to make it more recognizableobserver, as if to watch to the audience and fits in withthe events of the Social Realism conventions.episode. Stereotypes are portrayedLighting used is very basic and features within Realism soaps to setday lighting. This is to replicate sunlight the location of the show. E.g.or lamps in a characters homes. Emmerdale featuring the rolling hills.
My media products are based on the Social Realism soap Eastenders as the mise enscene, lighting, editing and camera work is very similar to this soap. Additionally, thestorylines in both Eastenders and my soap trailer reflect real life and everydayissues so the audience can relate to them and gain an emotional attachment towardsthe soap, which is conventional of Social Realism soaps. This is my first draft of my title This is the title card for a card for my soap. Christmas special of Eastenders.I called my soap opera ‘Northern Quarter’ as it was shot in Manchester and suggeststhe regional identity of the soap, just like Eastenders implies it is set in the East endof London.Key: Green = used conventions. Orange = developed conventions. Red = challengedconventions.
shot Reverse shotThe shot reverse shot is conventional of all Social Realism soaps as the camerais acting as the forth wall and therefore reminding the viewers that they arewatching the characters real life narratives, rather than contributing to it.Moreover, the use of outdoor shots featured in all Realism soaps helps todemonstrate the dull natural lighting used to create a realistic picture. Realistic,casual costumes are featured on the characters to imply the day to day problemsthese characters have so the audience can relate to it. shot Reverse shotCoronation street.
Medium close up. Close up.I have used the convention of I have also used close up shotsmedium close ups as they are which are a dominantpresented in all Social Realism soaps. conventional feature in RealismThey allow the audience to see the soaps as they provide insightemotions and body language of the into the characters emotionscharacters as they focus more on the and thoughts which helps tosubject and less of the setting. engage the audience.Coronation Street. Emmerdale.
Point of View shot. Ground level shot.I have developed conventions by I have challenged conventions with aincorporating a point of view shot with ground level a ground level shot asan over the shoulder shot. This allows the focus in Social Realism soaps isthe audience to feel part of the soap usually the characters faces towithout breaking the forth wall. Also, demonstrate emotions, not their feet.they provide the audience with the main However, Eastenders do use a groundfocus to imply the narrative. level shot in an episode. Emmerdale. Eastenders.
Two shot.I have used conventions by adding two These are two shots which are moreshots in my parody. These two shots are loosely framed to show the setting ofboth tightly frames so the focus is on the the scene as well as the facialcharacters and not their surroundings. The expressions. This helps the viewer tonatural day lighting sued helps add to the gain a clearer insight of the mise enrealism, along with casual costumes and scene portrayed, e.g. a café or home.facial features to suit the narratives.Coronation Street. Eastenders.
Shocked face SlapShocked faces are also conventional of Slap scenes are conventional of SocialRealism soaps and allow the audience Realism soaps as they show theto see the characters reaction to a audience a dramatic emotion whichcertain action/narrative. This makes attracts their attention. However, thethe soap more interesting to the characters reaction is not as over theaudience and the natural make up top as the reaction of slap scenes arepresented on the characters adds to in Scripted Realities, which adds to thethe realism. realism of the soaps.
Depth of field. In my soap Northern Quarter, there are lots of deep focuses which allows the audience to see clearly into the distance of the surroundings which helps set the scene. This challenges conventions with Social Realism soaps as they usually provide shallow focuses as the want the closest element to the camera to be the main focus. However, Realism soaps do also include focus pulls from shallow focus to deep focus sometimes.The straight cuts and simple editing is conventional to create realism and implysmooth transitions between scenes. Although Social Realism soaps rarely usemusic in the soaps, it is conventional to have a soundtrack to a trailer. Thiscatches the audiences attentions and depending on what mood the soap wantsto portray, major or minor keys with repetitive melodic drones help to createthe feeling of urgency and anxiety.
The location of my soap NorthernQuarter is in Manchester and this isdemonstrated through the use ofoutdoor shots. This is conventional ofSocial Realism soaps as the majorityof these soaps are set outside. Thisis to emphasize the realism of thesoaps as natural day lighting is used.This is where I have usedconventions for my Realism parodyso the audience can associate thedull day lighting and setting with the Social Realism soaps usually containeveryday issues portrayed in the normal named characters such asnarratives. Emily and Josh. However, I have developed conventions as there isI used the same logo as BBC One as sometimes one or two charactersthe simplistic plain font creates brand with abstract names such as Charityidentity. The BBC One logo appears in Emmerdale and Diesel in Northernafter all BBC One trailers, e.g. Quarter. This allows certainEastenders and the title of the soap characters to stick in the viewersand the showing time is presented on minds and contrasts with the ordinarya title card after the trailers, where day to day feel of Social Realismas in my trailer it is presented at the soaps.start.
I based my soap magazine front cover on the ‘Classy’ style of magazine ‘TV & Satellite week.’ The simple colour scheme of using 3 dominant colours used throughout helps to make the product look professional. The colours also stick in the audiences minds and helps them to instantly recognize the magazine type and make it memorable. The caption under the dominant photo anchors the image in both magazines and helps the reader to understand what soap it isThe mast head is in a simplistic and gives a smallfont which matches the TV & insight into theSatellite week magazine. The storylines andplain white text and the drop emotionsshadow effect helps the text to portrayed. Thestand out on the dark stand out quotebackground and image to attract also helps tothe readers attention. emphasize this.
The main stars use eye contact One way I challenged conventionswith the camera to directly was by using Enter Shikari’s ‘Helloaddress and engage the tyrannosaurus meet tyrannicide’ asaudience. This allows the my background music track. Thisaudience to clearly see the challenged conventions because thecharacters serious facial genre is drum & bass and metalcore,expressions and get a clearer which arent stereotypical musicview of the storyline. choices for Social Realism soaps. I chose this because the repetitive beat goes well with my clean cut edits and the melodic droneThe features are all placed throughout creates an eeriearound the dominant image with atmosphere and suspense which istheir soap names and captions. the mood I wanted to get across inThey all have the dark red my soap trailer. Here is the YouTubecolour around them which is link for the song:conventional of TV & Satelliteweek and also allows them to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Astand out against the ms0VGceOXIbackground.