Forms and conventions of soap operas Trailers Narrative The narrative for trailers usually contains the storylines and dramas that will happen in the future in the soap opera. For example the soap trailer for Hollyoaks ‘Strictly not for the faint hearted’ all the characters were dancing but the character they played and the relationships they had with other characters was affected. The characters were nudging each other and you could see the tension between the characters. Lighting The lighting used is either dark with bright lighting or natural daylight like in the street for the soap. For example in the Neighbours trailer the lighting used is daylight that would be seen in the soap opera in the Hollyoaks advert the lighting is used is spotlights in the dark. Camera work The camera work used is usually medium shots showing the characters as if the audience is part of the action because we see people from the waist up. For example in the Hollyoaks advert the first clip of Calvin with the spotlight in the background. Low angle and high angle shots are used to show the importance of the characters. For example in Hollyoaks when Calvin gets wine thrown at him the camera shows him as a high angle shot to show he has authority. The audience look up at the character who have more authority and look down at a characters who are vulnerable or with less importance. Editing There are lots of shots used which last no longer than 4 seconds. Titles are used to name the characters or ask rhetorical questions. There are 35-40 shots in a 40 second clip and each shot is different length ranging from 0.5-4 seconds maximum. The shots are all quick and snappy, only quick cuts are used. This creates a fast upbeat advert. Mise-en-scene The costumes and props the characters normally wear are used in the trailer. For example Sound The sounds is mostly non-diegetic with no dialogue and only upbeat music in the background.
Example of conventions for soap opera trailers Lighting The lighting used in the advert is low lighting with very strong extreme bright lighting to create an eerie and dark atmosphere of the different stories on the soap like murder, affairs, romance and danger. Camera work The camera work used in the trailers is mostly mid shots showing the characters as if the audience was apart of the action and storyline going on. This also makes them feel involved with the soap opera. The camera follows all the action, for example there is a close-up of the feet being stamped on. Also when a drink is thrown at another character. The last shot shows a high angle of Calvin to show he has authority. The movements used is a tilt to slowly look up at Calvin Valentine on the floor on the floor because he was pushed. All the actions of the cast suggest the stories that coming up for example when the marriage of the characters Calvin and Carmel falls apart and the fights between the different characters. There are a few dolly shots following the action and the characters. For example when Calvin gets annoyed with Michaela for bumping into him.
Example of conventions for soap opera trailers EditingThere are 35-40 shots in a 40 second clip and each shot is different length ranging from 0.5-4 seconds maximum. The shots are all quick and snappy, only quick cuts are used. This creates a fast upbeat advert. Mise-en-sceneThe mise-en scene used in the advert is the costumes are all ball gowns and suits to create a formal occasion or to make them look like dancers in Strictly Come Dancing, who all wear smart outfits. The trailer uses intertexuality for the programme Strictly Come dancing. There is the score card which the judges hold up at the end to show their opinion of the dancing which is also used on Strictly Come Dancing. There is also a red drink which is thrown at Calvin to suggest evil, pain or death. There is also use of spotlights to create an eerie atmosphere. Carmel is wearing a tiara to show her authority. SoundThere is no dialogue or diegetic sound. The non-diegetic sound played in the trailer is the soundtrack is upbeat and the lyrics relate to the trailer because the word 'Dance' is repeated and all the characters are dancing. The fast pace of the soundtrack relates to the fast pace movement and action from the characters.
Forms and conventions Poster Image The main image on soap opera posters are many characters with different poses to show their character’s representation. Font Bright colours and black are used for the font colours. The style is simple and the size is bigger for the soap opera name and the channel than other details about the soap like the time and day. Magazine front cover Images Most magazine front covers have no more than 3 people on the main image. The storyline is normally only between a few main people. The expression on the characters’ is either how the character is feeling. For example worried if they are going to be found out for a murder case. The other images around the main story are smaller because the story isn’t as big. Font The colours and font colours used are all bright, they are normally red, pink, black, yellow and white. The font styles used are simple, straight, bold and big to stand out to the audience.
Examples of forms and conventions used in other soap operas All the characters are wearing casual, everyday clothes that they would normally wear during the soap. This includes polo necks, shirts, tops, cardigans, jeans, trousers and shorts. In the Neighbour’s poster all the characters are positioned on different levels and they are layered in front or behind each other. Each character has a representation to follow and the relationships they have with other characters. For example the character Steph is putting her hands over Toadies' eyes as if she was playing games because they are friends. They are arranged in families and each family links to the next by friendships. The font style used is a simple straight and bold font. Most of the text is in capitals to add emphasis and show importance. The font colours are black and golden yellow for the channel ‘Five’ to indicate to the audience that Neighbours is now showing on Five . The font size is big for the most important information like the soap opera name and the channel. The time and the day is written in a smaller font. The background in the Neighbours poster is the street the characters live which is Ramsay street. Some of the houses are in the background with blue sky. The lighting used makes the poster look like it is a nice sunny day.
Examples of forms and conventions used in other soap operas The masthead of this magazine is "What's on TV", it is a television guide with soap pages displaying the weekly stories of each soap. The front cover shows the top stories from the different soaps. The main story is from Eastenders, the Kicker is "Wedding Killer!" suggesting there is going to be a murder case during a wedding. The straplines around the edge are about Eastenders like the marriage of Bianca and Ricky. This magazine is an Eastenders special because Eastenders has been filmed for 25 years therefore the majority of the stories are about Eastenders. The colours used in the magazine and very bright and there is a large variety for example pink, red, white, green, yellow, blue and black. The masthead has its own colour (red) which is used for every magazine copy and the other colours are put together. The font styles are straight, simple and bold except the font of EastEnders is thin and has the style Times New Romans. The Kicker is the biggest colour because the stories are going to attract the audience of the magazine the most. The magazine has a page turn to let the reader know what is inside and to the reader a sneaky peak of other stories that they can read about. The price of the magazine is very cheap because it is only 49p. The bar code is placed at the bottom in the centre of the magazine. At the top there is a skyline which say "AT LAST! Revealed: Who killed Archie!" this makes the reader interested that they will finally know the mystery or secret of the story.
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the trailer Narrative All the characters walking along the catwalk and showing their personality and relationships between other characters. For example the first character is the rebel, Storm. Storm walks done the catwalk, hits the camera and sticks her tongue out because she is the rebel and her character causes lots of problems on rebel street (above). The next character is the geek, Eugene. Eugene tries to be cool but end up being clumsy by tripping over the carpet as he walks done catwalk. The next character is Tamiya who is miss ghetto fabulous, she walks along the catwalk and blows a kiss to the camera. She is always attached to her boyfriend, the local stud because she doesn’t want anyone taking her man. When Taye the local stud enters the catwalk, Tamiya can’t resist joining him on the catwalk and linking his arm (below). The next character is miss independent she is tall, sexy and will do anything to get in the way of her crush, Taye and Tamiya who she is jealous of. Each character follows a stereotype of different teenagers in society. The local stud and miss ghetto fabulous are dating. This is shown when they walk down the catwalk together arm in arm. A catwalk was used because teenagers are so image conscience about who they are and their appearance. Most teenagers have labels put on them just the characters in this soap opera, this suggests each character is expected to look and act a certain way just like teenagers. The audience can relate to the characters because the audience are teenagers. Also the catwalk is one place where teenagers can show their image.
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the trailer Lighting Spotlights are used on the catwalk to create a contrast between the dark shadows and bright lights. Catwalks usually have bright spot lights in the dark. Also the lighting used in the Hollyoaks trailer is the same. Colours Many colours are used in the trailer, the background colour has been edited. For example the colours used for the rebel is a purple, the connotations of purple is royalty. Storm thinks she is like royalty and will do anything to get her own way. She uses her rebellious character to attack characters that get in her way like the geek Eugene. The colours used for the geek is yellow, this example connotes cowardice and deceit. Yellow can be used for emergency vehicles or hazards. When Eugene trips over the carpet he makes the carpet look like a hazard with him clumsiness. The colours used for the miss ghetto fabulous and the local stud is red which suggests romance and passion because Taye and Tamiya are a couple. The colour used for miss independent is green, green suggests jealousy and envy because she is jealous over the relationship between the local stud and miss ghetto fabulous. She wants the local stud to be her boyfriend. 1 2 4 3
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the trailer Camera work Medium shot or close-ups are used in the soap opera for example when Miss Ghetto fabulous walks down the catwalk (right) and when the rebel sticks her tongue out. Long shots are also used to show the characters’ actions and to show their full outfit which represents who they are. For example the shot shown with Taye and Tamiya shows their arms linked and Tamiya lifts her leg up (left). The camera therefore can capture actions and movements. The camera follows the actions of the character for example a dolly shot of the characters’ feet moving for Tamiya’s shoes (middle). A camera tilt going up the rebel’s body and miss independent to make them look tall and scary. The camera angles used are mostly high angles looking up at the characters to show their authority. For example the camera looks up at Tamiya (right).
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the trailer Mise-en-scene The costumes represent the personality of the characters. The rebel’s costume is skinny jeans, a tight white top and a shirt. Her sleeves are rolled to suggest she means business. The rebel is also wearing lots of dark makeup to show she her mind is dark and evil. The geek’s costume is the geek glasses, trousers, shirt and tie to suggest he is studios and wants to look smart. Miss Ghetto fabulous’ outfit is black heels, shiny top, gold necklace, jacket, black hair band and a black skirt. The local stud’s outfit is t-shirt, jeans and a leather jacket draped over his shoulder because the local stud has attitude and he thinks he is cool or ‘the man of the street’ and like the attention he gets from girls. Miss independent’s outfit is a black dress and hoop earrings, black dresses normally make people look older and more independent. A red carpet is used on the catwalk the characters are celebrities and most celebrities walk down the red carpet.
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the trailer Sound Only non-diegetic sound which is upbeat music playing in the background. The upbeat music follows a similar tune which is repeated and the beat creates the pace of the trailer. At the end of the trailer the music fades to indicate the ending. Font The font used is on paper which is ripped across to show that is a rough street with lots of problems and no character's life is perfect. There is a caption after each character where the video footage is paused and the label the character follows with the name of the character. The font style for the captions is straight with rough patches. The name of the character is in colour e.g. Purple for the rebel, green for Eugene, yellow for the local stud and red for miss ghetto fabulous and pink for miss independent. At the end of the trailer the poster for the soap opera is shown and then a white screen with the soap name (Rebel Street), the day and time (Wednesday at 8:00). There is the logo for channel 4 and the black outline is replaced by a section of the poster (the geek’s glasses and the rebel’s scarf.
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the poster Image The image is of the cast in the soap opera with different expressions. Miss independent and miss ghetto fabulous are giving each other evil looks. In between them in the man they both want which is the local stud who is looking at the camera worried because he doesn’t know which girl to choose. Both woman have their hand on the local stud’s should to suggest he is their man. Storm is looking at the camera and is layered behind Miss ghetto fabulous and standing facing the left. Eugene the geek has his back towards Storm. This layering effect is used in the Neighbours poster where all the characters are grouped in family and friends.
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the poster Mise-en-scene The costumes the characters are wearing relate to their personality and stereotype. Miss independent is wearing a black dress, hoop earring and gold necklace. The colour black makes her look older and more sophisticated. The local stud is wearing a white and colourful t-shirt with jeans and a chin necklace. The colours on his t-shirt fade from red to green to suggest there is passion and jealousy between the two woman. Miss ghetto fabulous is wearing fitted denim dungarees and a silver chain necklace and bracelet. Her outfit is fitted so the local stud can see the shape of body which he is attracted to. The rebel is wearing a shirt, mini skirt, a leopard print scarf in her hair and gold hoop earring. The leopard print scarf suggests she is wild and fierce teenager. The geek is wearing geek glasses, grey polo neck tucked inside his grey tracksuit bottoms because geeks normally look neat and perfect and not scruffy. For example in Neighbours poster all the characters are wearing clothes that suit their personality for example Paul Robinson is wearing a black shirt because he is evil and powerful in business. People normally wear a shirt when they are working
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the poster Font The font size for the main heading is very big, the style is straight but rough with scratches on. The colour of the font is red to suggest anger and revenge of the characters. The font has less opacity so you can see detail under the font like the chain necklace worn by miss ghetto fabulous. The letter ‘e’ is at an angle to suggest the life for the character’s is not perfect because of the drama, jealousy and anger caused by the different character. Underneath the heading is the details about the soap like the time and date also a sentence telling the audience what rebel street is. “Another new fierce soap coming this summer”. A channel 4 logo is at the side to tell the audience the new soap is on channel 4. The name Rebel Street is similar to other soap names like Coronation Street and all the soap usually live on a street. For example in neighbours the characters live on Ramsay street.
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the magazine front cover
Comparison between my magazine front cover and What’s on TV
How my media product uses, develops and challenges conventions in the magazine front cover Image The main image is of Melissa and Tamiya facing each other with an evil look on their faces because they both want Taye, the local stud. The other images are of the rebel and the geek back to back because the rebel attacks the geek, the poster of the new soap and an image and story for Coronation Street. Mise-en-scene Miss independent is wearing a black dress, hoop earring and gold necklace. The colour black makes her look older and more sophisticated. Miss ghetto fabulous is wearing fitted denim dungarees and a silver chain necklace and bracelet. The rebel is wearing a shirt, mini skirt, a leopard print scarf in her hair and gold hoop earring. The leopard print scarf suggests she is wild and fierce teenager. The geek is wearing geek glasses, grey polo neck tucked inside his grey tracksuit bottoms because geeks normally look neat and perfect and not scruffy. Font and colours Bright colours are used e.g. Red, yellow, pink, white, green and black. All these colours are used in other soap magazines. The font is simple, bold and straight and very big so it stands out to the target audience. The biggest font is the masthead for the magazine and the heading.
How effective is the combination of the main product and ancillary texts? Similarities between products The font style used for the main title of the poster is the same font style used for the captions for each character in the trailer. The magazine front cover uses ripped paper as the background for the magazine name and the captions on the trailer. The poster is copied onto the trailer at the end and at the bottom of the magazine front cover. All the product use the same character and the magazine front cover and the poster help explain to the audience the relationship and stories that will be coming up in the soap. For example Melissa vs. Tamiya to win Taye, the local stud and rebel attacks geek. In the magazine front cover and the poster the characters have similar expressions or positioned in a similar way. For example Mellissa and Tamiya are giving each evil looks and the rebel and the geek are posited back to back. The combination between all the products works really well because they all link and give a bit more detail about what is going to happen in the soap. They have many similarities like the font style, the ripped paper, the poster, the same characters and similar positions and expressions. All the similarities help the product and the other text look like a product that are linked together.
Audience Feedback Two teenagers looked at the product and gave their feedback to how successful the product was to engage the target audience. The target audience for the product is teenagers because different representations of teenagers are used in the trailer, the poster and magazine front cover. The characters and name indicate its for a teenage audience as they are dressed in teen clothing and their facial expressions are very striking, which also symbolise their type of character e.g. The Rebel, Storm has her tongue sticking out to suggest she’s disobedient. The name “Rebel Street” is similar to other soaps such as “Coronation Street” so the audience know the genre for the product is a soap opera. The narrative of the product is a promo video for the soap its mainly used to establish the main characters. The emotional response the product has is it is fun and comical in some scenes such as when Tamiya jumps on screen with ‘The local stud’ to show that she’s with him or wants to be with him. The product was very successful at achieving its aim because the characters are well established and you can tell it s target audience are teenagers. It could be improved by showing clips of what actually happens in the soap opera as well as a trailer showing the characters and the audience have a better sense of the narrative in the soap.
How media technologies was used in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages Construction Video editing software was used to edit the trailer by cutting, deleting and arranging the scenes. For example cutting the rebel section by getting rid of her walking off the catwalk because the audience doesn’t need to see that. I arranged the scene for the geek so different angle and shots could be used of the geek walking and tripping over. For example a shot showing his feet and a medium shot showing him putting his glasses on. Other techniques used in the video editing software was reversing the video footage on the rebel when she is walking down the catwalk to build the tension of her walking down the catwalk. Another technique used was still image where a part of the video was paused when the character pose at the end. The colour were changed in the video, each character had a different colour. I used colour replacer to change the amount of red, green and blue for each clip. For example red and blue were mixed to make purple for the rebel. Also adding the music to the video and deleting the sound on the video by unlinking the sound and the video footage. Other techniques were adding titles images to the trailer for example “The Rebel Storm” and “The Geek Eugene”.
How media technologies was used in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages Photoshop and publishing software was used to edit the images and arrange the layout for the poster and the magazine front cover. For example inserting the ripped paper underneath the masthead and the straplines. The ripped paper was added from the brushes and colour was changed to yellow. Also the main heading for the poster was created on dafont.com and the colour and opacity was changed to red on Photoshop. The text was added on publisher and the layout for the magazine was made in publisher with the titles and straplines. Other images like the poster on the magazine front cover for the soap opera and the image of the rebel and the geek. The text “fierce” on the straplines was inserted in another box and titled to make the soap look imperfect. Opacity tool was used to make “Rebel Street” in the poster show the patterns or change of colours in the image behind.
How media technologies was used in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages Research and planning The research for the soap opera trailers, posters and magazine front cover was completed using a scanner to scan magazines and posters in and YouTube to look at example trailers for different soaps. For example ‘What’s on TV’ and ‘Soaplife’ were scanned in and analysed. The Eastenders poster was scanned in and analysed. The neighbours poster was found on Google images. Strictly Not for the Faint Hearted advert for Hollyoaks and Neighbours advert were found on YouTube. The planning was first completed in word as a list and later made into a storyboard of everything that happened which used the word processing software. Shapes and stick men were used to create the images of what will happen in the soap opera trailer. Tables were used for the layout of the story boards. Evaluation The Evaluation was completed in presentation software with different print screens of the trailer, magazine and poster. Each slides follows a similar layout with the title at the top in size 32 and the text with subheading in size 18 and text size 13. The evaluation used bullet points to address all the points. Images from the trailer for example the rebel sticking her tongue was print screened, crop to only show the video and not the whole screen. The image was then resized to fit on the slide underneath the analyse. Text boxes were added to annotate around the image for neighbours poster and arrows to show what I have the analysed is on the poster. Tables were added to compare the magazine of real media product and my own media products.