4. How Are Crime Dramas Made?


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4. How Are Crime Dramas Made?

  1. 1. How are Crime Dramas made and marketed?
  2. 2. Institution <ul><li>The institution refers to the company that makes the programme and the companies that market, distribute and show the programmes. It refers to all the industry issues behind the text. It includes things like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who makes the text? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where is the text made? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How is the text marketed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When is the text scheduled? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Scheduling <ul><li>Prime-time is generally seen as the time when most people watch TV. In the UK, prime-time is from about 7pm to 11pm, although it is divided: before 9pm (the watershed or dividing point) tends to be peak time for family viewing, after 9pm is prime-time for adult audiences. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at the TV listings for one day or one week. Highlight all the TV crime drama programmes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which channels show the most crime dramas? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What time of day are most crime dramas shown? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many prime-time slots are occupied with crime dramas? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Who makes the text - PSB vs. Commercial TV <ul><li>PSB broadcasters have to make programmes for everybody; they have to suit minority groups as well as majority mainstream groups; they have to meet standards of quality and decency. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial broadcasters only need to get big audiences – big audiences means lots of money from advertisers. Does this mean commercial TV aims only at mainstream groups? And is this a bad thing? </li></ul><ul><li>Go back to your TV scheduling exercise. List the BBC crime dramas, and the ITV crime dramas. Can you see any difference in approach? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Crime drama on the BBC <ul><li>The BBC is a Public Service Broadcaster (a PSB). It is funded by the Licence Fee. It belongs to everybody, so it has a mission to provide programmes to suit everybody. The BBC’s remit is to ‘inform, educate and entertain.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Do crime dramas ‘inform, educate and entertain?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Cohen, the BBC1 Controller, said: &quot;I felt that we risked having too many male detectives and arguably we have had maybe too much crime. Detectives and crime is the real staple of quite a lot on the BBC but also a huge amount of ITV drama ... I want to broaden the palette a bit.” </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think there is anything wrong with having lots of crime dramas and lots of male detectives on the BBC? </li></ul>
  6. 6. UK vs. US <ul><li>Traditionally, US programmes have been seen as very glamorous, very glossy and full of beautiful people. They usually have a big budget and are not very realistic. </li></ul><ul><li>UK programmes have traditionally been seen as lower budget, less glamorous, with a greater range of actors (including older and less attractive people), more gritty, more realistic and more down to earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the opening credits to a US and a UK crime drama. Can you find any evidence to support these ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>CSI Miami opening credits: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =-anMDapRbs8 </li></ul><ul><li>Trailer for Prime Suspect: </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =R-ws050G6dk </li></ul>
  7. 7. The CSI effect <ul><li>CSI has been such a big hit in America that it has spawned two offshoot programmes CSI: NY and CSI: Miami. It has also caused the ‘CSI effect.’ Seeing this show make so much money has encouraged other producers to make similar shows. Law and Order, Waking the Dead, Crossing Jordan and Silent Witness were all made because CSI was so popular. </li></ul><ul><li>CSI has been sold to over 25 countries across the world. </li></ul><ul><li>The CSI effect is said to have also caused the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>jurors demanding more forensic evidence in real court cases. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More people applying to study forensic science. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British police units renaming themselves CSI units instead of ‘Scene of Crime Officers.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some criminals learning how conceal evidence of their crimes better after watching CSI. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Marketing <ul><li>Most new TV crime dramas market themselves using: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trailers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articles in magazines – interviews with the cast, the director, releasing official press photos to be used in newspapers and magazines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosting a website with information, teasers, interviews, photos, behind the scenes info, characters blogs etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having the actors on chat shows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicity stunts </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Press photos <ul><li>Publicity photo, used on the DVD cover, from Sherlock: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1869054976/tt1475582 </li></ul><ul><li>This is a similar press photo from CSI:Miami. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3171194880/tt0313043 </li></ul><ul><li>Analyse the photos using mise-en-scene: </li></ul><ul><li>Characters posture, position, facial expression </li></ul><ul><li>Costumes </li></ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><li>Props </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting </li></ul><ul><li>Camera shot type and angle </li></ul><ul><li>What similarities do the photos have? Why do they both have these? How does this help the marketing? </li></ul><ul><li>What differences are there? Why do you think they have these differences? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Trailers <ul><li>Sherlock </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =cSQq_bC5kIw </li></ul><ul><li>CSI: Miami </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.videodetective.com/movies/trailers/csi-miami-season-9-trailer/640846 </li></ul><ul><li>What similarities do the trailers have? Why do they both have these? How does this help the marketing? </li></ul><ul><li>What differences are there? Why do you think they have these differences? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Websites <ul><li>CSI website </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.csi-official.co.uk / </li></ul><ul><li>Sherlock website: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t4pgh </li></ul><ul><li>What similarities do the websites have? Why do they both have these? How does this help the marketing? </li></ul><ul><li>What differences are there? Why do you think they have these differences? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Institutional Case study <ul><li>Choose a TV crime drama and research institutional issues: </li></ul><ul><li>Who makes it? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is it shown? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it on commercial or PSB channels? </li></ul><ul><li>When is it shown? </li></ul><ul><li>How is it marketed? Look for press photos, trailers, websites, magazines and so on. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Summary <ul><li>Write a summary using these words: </li></ul><ul><li>institution, scheduling, prime-time, marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to include these words: </li></ul><ul><li>PSB, commercial, the CSI effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching TV Crime Drama www.devonldp.org </li></ul>