Unit Details: Key media Concepts – Representation in TV Drama
This unit will focus on how the TV dramas represent particular social groups through use of camera,editing, sound and mise en scene (everything in the frame).The assessment for this unit is the first section of the Key Media Concepts paper.You will be shown a five minute clip from a TV drama (shown 4 times) and asked to answer thefollowing question: With reference to the CAMERA, EDITING, SOUND AND MISE EN SCENE, discuss how ........................ is represented in this clip. The possible representations under question are: Age Gender Sexuality Regional Identity Physical ability / disability Class / status Ethnicity
CAMERA DEFINITIONSSHOTSAerial Shot – A camera shot taken from an overhead position. Often used as an establishingshot.Close Up – A head and shoulders shot often used to show expressions/emotions of acharacter. Also can be a shot of an object, filmed from close to the object or zoomed in to it,that reveals detail.Extreme Close Up – A shot where a part of a face or body of a character fills the wholeframe/dominates the frame. Also can be a shot of an object where only a small part of itdominates the frame.Establishing Shot – A shot that establishes a scene, often giving the viewer informationabout where the scene is set. Can be a close up shot (of a sign etc) but is often a wide/longshot and usually appears at the beginning of a scene.Medium Shot – the framing of a subject from waist up.Two Shot – A shot of two characters, possible engaging in conversation. Usually tosignify/establish some sort of relationshipPoint-Of-View Shot (POV) – Shows a view from the subject’s perspective. This shot isusually edited so that the viewer is aware who’s point of view it is.Over the Shoulder Shot – looking from behind a character’s shoulder, at a subject. Thecharacter facing the subject usually occupies 1/3 of the frame but it depends on whatmeaning the director wants to create (for example, if the subject is an inferior character, thecharacter facing them may take up more of the frame to emphasise this).Overhead Shot – a type of camera shot in which the camera is positioned above thecharacter, action or object being filmed.Reaction Shot – a shot that shows the reaction of a character either to another character oran event within the sequence.
Camera Definitions continued...ANGLESCamera Angle – the position of the camera in relation to the subject of a shot. The cameramight be at a high angle, a low angle or at eye level with what is being filmed.High Angle – A camera angle that looks down upon a subject or object. Often used to makethe subject or object appear small or vulnerable.Low Angle – A camera angle that looks up at a subject or object. Often used to make thesubject/object appear powerful/dominant.Canted framing (or oblique) – camera angle that makes what is shot appear to be skewedor tilted.MOVEMENTPan – Where the camera pivots horizontally, either from right to left or left to right to reveala set or setting. This can be used to give the viewer a panoramic view. Sometimes used toestablish a scene.Track - a shot whjere the camera follows a subject/object. The tracking shot can includesmooth movements forward, backward, along the side of the subject, or on a curve butcannot include complex movement around a subject. ‘Track’ refers to rails in which awheeled platform (which has the camera on it) sits on in order to carry out smoothmovement.Crane – A crane shot is sometimes used to signify the end of a scene/ programme /film. Theeffect is achieved by the camera being put onto a crane that can move upward.Stedicam - A steadicam is a stabilising mount for a camera which mechanically isolates theoperators movement from the camera, allowing a very smooth shot even when theoperator is moving quickly over an uneven surface. Informally, the word may also be used torefer to the combination of the mount and camera.Tilt - where a camera scans a set or setting vertically (otherwise similar to a pan).Zoom – Using a zoom lens to appear to be moving closer to (zoom in) or further away from(zoom out) a subject/object when in fact the camera may not move (so, strictly not cameramovement). Can be used for dramatic effect.
EditingEditing – the stage in the film-making process in which sound and images are organised intoan overall narrative.Continuity Editing – the most common type of editing, which aims to create a sense ofreality and time moving forward. Also nick named invisible editing referring to how thetechnique does not draw attention to the editing process.Jump Cut – An abrupt, disorientating transitional device in the middle of a continuos shot inwhich the action is noticeably advanced in time and/or cut between two similar shots,usually done to create discontinuity for artistic effect.Credits – the information at the beginning and end of a film, which gives details of cast andcrew etc.Cross Cutting – the editing technique of alternating, interweaving, or interspersing onenarrative action (scene, sequence or event) with another – usually in different locations orplaces, thus combining the two: this editing technique usually suggests Parallel action (thattakes place simultaneously). Often used to dramatically build tension and/or suspense inchase scenes or to compare two different scenes. Also known as inter-cutting or parallelediting.Cutaways – A brief shot that momentarily interrupts continuous action by briefly insertinganother related action. Object, or person (sometimes not part of the principle scene or mainaction), followed by a cutback to the original shot.Freeze Frame – the effect of seemingly stopping a film in order to focus in on one event orelement.Eye-line Match – a type of edit which cuts from one character to what that character hasbeen looking at.Flashback – a scene or moment in a film in which the audience is shown an event thathappened earlier in the film’s narrative.Shot Reverse-Shot— Edits which switch back and forth between two characters interactingwith eachotherSlow Motion – indicates intensity or importance of an action.
Editing continued....Graphic Match – an edit effect in which two different objects of the same shape aredissolved from one into the other.Juxtaposition – the placement of two (often opposed) images on either side of an edit tocreate an effect.Linear Narrative – a style of storytelling in which events happen chronologically.Montage Editing – the juxtaposition of seemingly unconnected images in order to createmeaning.Parallel Editing – a type of editing in which events in two locations are cut together, in orderto imply a connection between the two sets of events.Visual Effects - visual effects are usually used to alter previously-filmed elements by adding,removing or enhancing objects within the scene.Match on Action - A shot that emphasises continuity of space and time by matching theaction of the preceding shot with the continuation of the action. (For example a shot of adoor opening after a shot of a close up of a character’s hand turning a door handle)
Sound Diegetic Sound – sound that can be heard by the characters within a scene/ sound part ofthe imaginary world.Non-diegetic Sound – sound that the characters cannot hear and is not part of theimaginary world of the story. This includes a musical soundtrack or a voiceover (howeverthis excludes a narration by a character within the story – referred to as an internalmonologue and is diegetic).Score – The musical component of a programme’s soundtrack, usually composed specificallyfor the scene.Sound Effects – sounds that are added to a film during the post-production stage.Sound Motif- A sound effect or combination of sound effects that are associated with aparticular character, setting, situation or idea.Sound Bridge— Can lead in or out of a scene. They can occur at the beginning of one scenewhen the sound from the previous scene carries over briefly before the sound from the newscene begins.Dialogue— Words spoken by the charactersIncidental music— non-diegetic sounds which add atmosphere to an action or revelation.Ambient sound—the background sounds which are present in a scene or location. Commonambient sounds include wind, water, birds, crowds, office noises, traffic, etc. It performs anumber of functions including: Providing audio continuity between shots, reventing anunnatural silence when no other sound is present and establishing or reinforcing the mood. Sound Perspectives—The sense of a sounds position in space, yielded by volume and pitch.Used to create a more realistic sense of space, with events happening (that is, coming from)closer or further away. Voiceover—When a voice, often that of a character in the film, is heard while we see animage of a space and time in which that character is not actually speaking. The voice over isoften used to give a sense of a characters subjectivity or to narrate an event told inflashback.
Definitions:Mise en Scene—Everything in the frame.Location— The place where the scene is shot, e.g Paris or the countryside.Set design—The way the set has been decorated in order to express particularcharacteristicsCostume - The clothing of a character speaks volumes about their personalityMake-Up—As does their make-upIconography—The visual style of a piece of film OR the meaning that using a famous actorbrings to a film or show.Properties.—or Props. Items that are used by characters in a particular scene Colour design.—A scene’s colours are very carefully selected in order to give off certainconnotations.Proxemics—Refers to the physical distance between charactersPhysicality—The physical presence of an actor and what that brings to a role.Gesture and Posture— The characters physical movements and what that says about them.LightingHigh Key Lighting—Lighting which appears to be natural (but very rarely is). A three point lighting system is used to reduce shadows and be flattering to the character. Low Key Lighting—Using a lighting system which intensifies shadows and gives a moody orscary effect.Back lighting—When a character is lit from behind, thus silhouetting them.