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Exam technique tv_drama

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  • 1. AS Media Studies – Representation in TV drama - Exam technique and tips There are three ways for you to get marks (out of 50) in this paper. 20 Come from making an argument about the way you think a character is being represented. 20 Come from using specific examples from the text 10 Come from accurate use of terminology. The structure of the exam: You will be screened a five minute extract from an unseen TV drama 4 times. This will take 30 minutes. 1st Screening: Do not take notes. Watch the extract and decide what your argument will be concerning the representation of single or groups of characters or relationships between two or more. 2nd Screening: Look for and take notes on examples across camera, editing, sound and mise en scene which exemplifies your first key point/observation. 3rd Screening: Look for and take notes on examples across camera, editing, sound and mise en scene which exemplifies your second key point/observation. 4th Screening: Look for and take notes on examples across camera, editing, sound and mise en scene which exemplifies your third and fourth key point/observation. NB: You will be given some time in-between screenings to take notes – use this time to prepare your main points about each character. Structuring your response Give a short (no more than 2/3 lines) setting out your argument about how certain characters are represented, focusing on comparisons, juxtapositions, etc. Structure each paragraph around a character. 1. Make your argument 2. Refer to your notes about how you can exemplify this argument, taking care to integrate your analysis. (for instance, you might be able to talk about a high angle long shot which demonstrates particular proxemics and set design). 3. Explain how this device (or these devices) works to represent the character in a particular way. Discuss preferred audience reactions. 4. Link with the next paragraph/character analysis – compare/contrast/relationship/positive or negative representation, etc.
  • 2. Don’t worry about concluding your argument – best to spend any spare time reading over what you have written and adapting/amending your work. Glossary of helpful words Class / Status Traditional Rebellious Patriarchal Attitude Underclass Respect / No respect Comfortable Snobbish Working class (not lower class) Dialect Upper class (not higher class) Accent Under class (i.e. the Gallaghers) Diction (choice of words in speech) Regional accent Hierarchy Anti authority Age World weary Restrictions Excitable Freedom Immature / Mature Responsibility Carefree Attitude Pressures Behaviour High Jinx (general fun and misbehaviour) Youthful Well grounded Exuberance Out of touch (i.e. a teacher might be out of touch with the needs of his students) Stoic [stowik] -unaffected by emotions – ‘a stoic old man’. Generation, generation gap. Gender Feminine (not girly) Macho Masculine (not blokey) Effeminate
  • 3. Patriarchy / patriarchal (the system which places men Typical / atypical reactions at the head of a household). Matriarch Traditional gender roles Stereotype Modern representations (tough W.P.C, etc) Power Tomboy Sexuality Manish (of a woman) Active Phallic symbol Passive Independence Strength Motherhood / Maternal instinct Violence / Pacifism Emotion (or lack of) Ethnicity Cultural differences Subculture Economic links Inequality Immigrant Accent, Dialect Stereotypical workplaces? (an Indian corner shop Integrated, Integration owner, an African traffic warden, etc) Multi cultural Racism Music Community Positive/negative representations (fair?) Ability/Disability Able bodied Obstinate or obstinacy (stubbornness) Condescending attitudes Bravery Emotional impact Mental strength, physical weakness Restrictions / Restrictive impact Sexuality Heterosexual Homosexual
  • 4. Transgender (i.e. a man who becomes a woman as a Femme Fatal (a female character type who is sexual life choice) yet dangerous) Transvestite (i.e. a man who ‘drags up’ for Traditional gender roles / attitudes to sex enjoyment). Promiscuous Promiscuity Homophobic (someone with an extreme dislike of homosexual people). Celibate Celibacy Conservative beliefs (backwards looking, not Monogamous progressive) Double standard Progressive beliefs, forward thinking. Sexually active Effeminate Flirting Masculine Desire Gay Community Lust Prudish Crude Suggestive Romantic love Shyness Sexual confidence, prowess Regional identity Accent Local/ regional rivalries (Manchester/Liverpool, North/South, Lancashire/Yorkshire) Dialect Territory / Territorial Iconic views (i.e. London Bridge) Pride Stereotypes Links with class Alternatives for the word ‘show’ Indicates Highlights Implies Punctuates Denotes Represents Connotes Determines Suggests General
  • 5. Juxtaposition (placing contrasting things / people side Signifier by side to highlight their differences Audience (consider their social group and how this Preferred audience response effects preferred responses). Connotation Role reversal Denotation Incongruous (inappropriate, incompatible, unlikely) Positive/Negative representation Relationship Comparison Attitude Stereotype Resentment Typical / Atypical. Social position Other Key words / concepts: Stereotypes Role Reversal Audience identification Preferred audience response Relationships between two or more characters Positive / Negative representations Power balance Tips for discussing camera and editing Camera Hand held camera – an excitable state (can link to a cultural situation around age, ethnicity, class, sexuality etc) Static camera – a calm, sedate state. (also can be linked to a cultural situation around age, ethnicity, class, sexuality etc) High and Low angles- for indicating power or lack of. Long shot / establishing shot – enable the audience to understand proxemics, locations and other important elements of mise en scene Focus shift – literally focuses attention from one part of the scene to another – allows the audience to gage a relationship Pan – Encourages the audience to examine a scene Crab – comparing characters placed in a row.
  • 6. Areal shot / top shot Editing A reaction shot is always useful in assessing a characters attitude or relationship with a person or event Shot –Reverse shot can be used to indicate a relationship or set up a comparison Intercutting can be used to compare two events occurring simultaneously Dissolve – can be a dream sequence (therefore an insight into a character’s desires/fears). A graphic match- to compare or contrast two characters or demonstrate a change in a character over time. An eye line match – helps to emphasise a significant prop or indicate a desire / fear of something or someone. Long takes – May represent tension or an uncomfortable situation. Short takes – To indicate a frantic temperament or state of mind