As tv drama revision guide


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As tv drama revision guide

  1. 1. AS Media Exam OCR Revision Guide G322: Key Concepts (TV Drama) Always Think!! How does the code they produce decode for the audience
  2. 2. Contents .Introduction .Example Question .Question Breakdown .Semiotics .Representation .Textual Analysis .Class .Age .Gender .Ethnicity .Disability .Sexuality .Technical Codes .Mise-en-scene .Cinematography .Editing .Sound .How to Answer .Hustle .Merlin .Misfits .Cranford .Soaps .24 .Past Papers .Mark Scheme .Past Scripts
  3. 3. TV Drama This revision guide is linked to Question 1 of the AS Media exam. In this question you have studied a variety of TV Drama’s from the UK and US. You have also studied the Technical aspects of TV Drama and Representation theory. All of this will be included in this question. Here are a list of the TV Drama’s we have looked at and their corresponding genre. Hustle (Crime) Merlin (Action/Adventure) Misfits (Contemporary/Teen) Cranford (Period) Eastenders (Soap – Traditional) Hollyoaks (Soap – Youth) 24 (US Drama/Action) Other Suggested Viewing… New Tricks (BBC – Police Drama) Spooks (BBC – Spy Drama) One Tree Hill (E4 – US Teen Drama) Downton Abbey (ITV – Period Drama)
  4. 4. Example Question Here is the type of question you will see in your exam… You will be shown a 4 min extract from an unseen TV Drama from the last 5 years (Terrestrial and Digital Channels). You will watch the extract through once without taking notes, and then 3 more times where you will be allowed to make notes. USE THIS TIME WISELY
  5. 5. Question Break Down So this question is asking you to do a number of things… 1 - DISCUSS – or analyse and articulate why 2 – CONTSTRUCTS – Creates using technical codes 3 – REPRESENTATIONS – Class, Age, Genre, Ethnicity, Disability, Sexuality (They will only use one) So in order to answer the question you must do the following… Technical Codes + Semiotics Representation Reactio n Full Understanding
  6. 6. Semiotics Signs make help us decipher what exactly is being represented. Signs are the smallest piece of meaning we can use to decode meaning. Almost anything can act as a sign and more than one sign makes up a code. For example: Glasses + bowtie + pocket protector = Nerd The Sign Signifier: The materiality of the sign (what it is made of – image, sound, object). Signified: The idea, the mental concept to which the signifier refers Signification: The ‘external’ meaning created by these two components. Concept of a heart Heart Word ‘Heart’ Picture of a Heart Pronunciation of ‘Heart’
  7. 7. Semiotics There are 3 different categories of signs in Media Studies… 1. The symbolic sign – You have to learn what the sign represents. What you actually see has nothing to do with what the sign represents. e.g. McDonalds logo, blackberry logo, Adidas logo. 2 – The Iconic sign – Looks like the object or concept it refers to in some way. e.g. Women’s toilet logo. 3 – The Indexical Sign – Is produced by the object or concept that it refers to. e.g. Lipstick mark is produced by a kiss. Signification According to Roland Barthes, there are two orders of signification: Denotation: the common sense, obvious meaning of the sign. Connotation: The associated meanings that accrue to the signs through different usages and contexts.
  8. 8. Representation Describes the signs that stand in for and take the place of something else. It is through representation people know and understand the world and reality through the act of naming it. Signs are manipulated in order to make sense of the world. To look like or resemble. To stand in for something or someone To present a second time to re-present This means that media texts are intentionally composed, lit, written, framed, cropped, captioned, branded, targeted and censored by their producers, and that they are entirely artificial versions of the reality we perceive around us. Any representation is a mixture of:  The thing itself.  The opinions of the people doing the representation  The reaction of the individual to the representation  The context of the society in which the representation is taking place.
  9. 9. Representation Cont. Representation consists of the following terms… C A G E D CLASS AGE GENDER ETHNICITY DISABILITY S SEXUALITY
  10. 10. Textual Analysis Literally means analysing text and in our case the text will be a 5 minute clip from a television drama. You will have to look at… • Denotation and Connotation. • What lies beneath the text. What ideologies are being created or reinforced? • How are they portraying the world and different social groups?
  11. 11. Class Questions to consider… How is class represented? What are status symbols? How is a certain class being misrepresented? Is there another class being represented in a better light? Is class being linked to race? Some Representations that can be seen in TV Drama Status Symbols • • • • • • Clothing or lack of it Cars Jewellery Brands Houses/mansions Gadgets Poor/moneyless/bum Lower class Lower middle class Working class Upper middle class Upper class Elite/rich/millionaire Status Symbols are used to… To establish class To silently assert power over those who aren’t quite as fortunate or successful. To fit into a stereotype or set of individuals.
  12. 12. Age We quickly deem other people too old, or too young, or criticise them for being immature or fuddy-duddy (conservative and dull). We criticise mature women for going about as mutton dressed as lamb, and young girls for tarting themselves up as jail bait. Thanks to the media, we appear to live in an age obsessed world: a world obsessed with youth and its attendant beauty. Old people are often subject to the most rigid stereotypes of all (old = ugly, weak, stupid). The future looks pretty bleak for all of us. What are some common representations of age, are negative representations always dealing with the elderly or can it spread to all ages? Rebellious teen Senile old woman/man Cradle robbing woman Male in a mid-life crisis Middle-age woman clinging to her youth Silly old man And the list goes on.
  13. 13. Gender The representation of men and women. Gender is perhaps the basic category we use for sorting human beings, and it is a key issue when discussing representation. Essential elements of our own identity, and the identities we assume other people to have, come from concepts of gender what does it mean to be a boy or a girl? Many objects, not just humans, are represented by the media as being particularly masculine or feminine - particularly in advertising - and we grow up with an awareness of what constitutes 'appropriate' characteristics for each gender. Representations of women across all media tend t highlight the following: beauty (within narrow conventions) size/physique (again, within narrow conventions) sexuality (as expressed by the above) emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings relationships (as opposed to independence/freedom)
  14. 14. Gender Women are often represented as being part of a context (family, friends, colleagues) and working/thinking as part of a team. In drama, they tend to take the role of helper (Propp) or object, passive rather than active. Often their passivity extends to victimhood. Men are still represented as TV drama characters more frequently than women, and tend to be the predominant focus of news stories. The representations of women that do make it onto page and screen do tend to be stereotypical, in terms of conforming to societal expectations, and characters who do not fit into the mould tend to be seen as dangerous and deviant. America seems to expect its women to behave better than their European counterparts British viewers adored the antics of Patsy & Edina in Absolutely Fabulous, but these had to be severely toned down (less swearing, NO drug taking) for the US remake, High Society (which was a flop).
  15. 15. Gender Representation of Men 'Masculinity' is a concept that is made up of more rigid stereotypes than femininity. Representations of men across all media tend to focus on the following: • • • • • Strength - physical and intellectual Power Sexual attractiveness (which may be based on the above) Physique Independence (of thought, action) Male characters are often represented as isolated, as not needing to rely on others (the lone hero). If they submit to being part of a family, it is often part of the resolution of a narrative, rather than an integral factor in the initial balance. It is interesting to note that the male physique is becoming more important a part of representations of masculinity. 'Serious' Hollywood actors in their forties (eg Willem Dafoe, Kevin Spacey) are expected to have a level of 'buffness' that was not aspired to even by young heart-throbs 40 years ago (check out Connery in Thunderball 1965).
  16. 16. Gender Increasingly, men are finding it as difficult to live up to their media representations as women are to theirs. This is partly because of the increased media focus on masculinity - think of the growing market in men's magazines, both lifestyle and health - and the increasing emphasis on even ordinary white collar male workers (who used to sport their beer-gut with pride) having the muscle definition of a professional swimmer. As media representations of masculinity become more specifically targeted at audiences with product promotion in mind (think of the huge profits now made from male fashion, male skin & hair care products, fitness products such as weights, clothing etc), men are encouraged (just as women have been for many years) to aspire to be like (to look/ behave in the same way) the role models they see in magazines. This is often an unrealistic target to set, and awareness of this is growing. Bradley Cooper: Sexiest Man Alive???
  17. 17. Ethnicity Ethnicity, like sex, is a set of genetically defined, biological characteristics. However, like gender, it is also a set of culturally defined characteristics. Representation of race in the media can consist of the same sort of rigid stereotypes that constitute gender portrayal. However, stereotyping of race is seen as more harmful than stereotyping of gender, as media representation may constitute the only experience of contact with a particular ethnic group that an audience (particularly an audience of children) may have. Racial stereotypes are often based on social myth, perpetuated down the ages. Thus, the media depiction of, say, Native American Indians, might provide a child with their only experience of Native American Indian culture and characters, and may provide that child with a set of narrow prejudices which will not be challenged elsewhere within their experience. Most work on Race & The Media has concentrated on the representation of black men and women. This has partly been because there is a strong African-American counterculture which provides viable alternative role models and demands that they are represented. In recent years, the success of actors such as Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne and Morgan Freeman in a diversity of roles has meant that black characters in movies and on TV are no longer 'stock' types.
  18. 18. Ethnicity However, there are many negative representations of black people, portrayals which seem deliberately designed to inflame the fear and hatred of other cultures how positive a representation is the archetypal AfricanAmerican gangsta? Yet these are representations coming from within black culture itself... Attention is now being paid to the representation of other ethnic groups, notably Asian Americans and Latinos, who represent a much larger proportion of the US population than their TV coverage would suggest. Things are changing - on the one hand the success of John Woo and Ang Lee in Hollywood is pushing the boundaries back for Asian Americans, and the Latin Music Explosion of 1999 has led to much wider acceptance of Latino performers.
  19. 19. Common Representation of Ethnicity African decent -Gangster -“Token black guy’’ -Impoverished -Criminal -Victim -Hero Asian decent Intelligent Martial artist Obsessed with electronics Quirky or weak Lack emotion Women can be seen as ditzy in some cases Latino decent Ugly Uneducated Silly/not taken seriously Illegal aliens Partiers Involved in drugs (dealing/taking) Sex symbols (Antonio Banderez, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek).
  20. 20. Common Representation of Ethnicity Middle Eastern (Arabic) decent Terrorists/violent Very religious Physically strong Strict/stern/not a push over Serious Victims Villains/rarely seen as heroes White British/American Powerful: physical/intellectual Often the hero Serial killer In charge (dominant race) Lead role
  21. 21. Disability Questions to Consider… Are there any disabled people represented within the show? Why or why not? How are these people being represented? Are they victims? Does everyone have pity on them? Are they treated like everyone else? What part do they have within the show, is it a crucial role? What message are you getting about this specific disability or ability being represented in the clip? Are the actors within the show actually disabled? If not why do you suppose they chose not to use an actor with a disability? Is it right for actors to pretend to be something they are not. Can this be compared to the times when white men wore black makeup to play black men in minstrel shows.
  22. 22. Disability Or Physical Ability/Disability Who are we talking about • Those who are physically disabled (paralysed, deaf, blind, amputees). • Those who are limited in how much they can do due to morbidly obese, cancer, aids, etc). • Those who are in good shape i.e. star athletes, superheroes, average person, one with special abilities. Sexuality How is one’s sexual orientation constructed? There are many types of sexual orientations out there, our main focus will be on: - Heterosexuality (most common type) - Homosexuality (gay and lesbian) Sexual orientation is biological, although sceptics think it is based on choice. What we are concerned with is how is sexual orientation expressed?
  23. 23. Sexuality How is one’s sexual orientation constructed? There are many types of sexual orientations out there, our main focus will be on: - Heterosexuality (most common type) - Homosexuality (gay and lesbian) Sexual orientation is biological, although sceptics think it is based on choice. What we are concerned with is how is sexual orientation expressed? Heterosexual Women Loving/Respectable/average (monogamous) Promiscuous Frigid (uncomfortable) Pure (virginal/naive) Alternative (‘gold digger’, ‘pregnant teen’, ‘cougar’) Heterosexual Men Respectable (monogamous) Promiscuous ‘Ladies Man’, ‘Heart throb’ Bumbling man who has trouble talking to women
  24. 24. Sexuality Homosexual women (Lesbian) Monogamous Promiscuous Embarrassed (In the closet) Homosexual Males (Gay) Promiscuous Monogamous Overbearing Embarrassed (In the closet) Important points to consider Gender closely ties in with sexuality. Sexuality is often expressed through physical means; clothes, props, setting, acting. Understanding how a particular characters gender is constructed will help you analyse how their sexuality is being represented.
  25. 25. Technical Codes In your answer you will be asked to write about how the specific representations are created, this means that you will need to say how a representation of gender is created using technical aspects of moving image. The technical codes are… Mise-en-scene Props, Setting, Costume, Makeup, Décor, Lighting & Colour Cinematography Framing (Close up, establishing shot etc), Camera Movement (Zoom, Track, Pan etc) & Position (characters on screen) Editing Pace, Length of shot, Choice of shot, type of transistion Sound Diegetic & Non-Diegetic Sound, Music, Leitmotif, Dialogue YOU MUST USE THE CORRECT TERMS THROUGHOUT YOUR ANSWER
  26. 26. Mise-en-scene A French term literally meaning ‘put in the scène’. Studying mise en scène involves reading the contents of the film frame. Every aspect of a frame is carefully constructed in order to generate particular meanings for the audience. A film’s mis en scène includes: Setting inc studio Décor Establish location, time period and atmosphere. Establish characters within the film. Props Highlight key aspects of a narrative. Highlight themes of a film. Costume Make-up Lighting Establish GENRE – usually through use of ICONOGRAPHY (mise en scène that is shared between a group of films).
  27. 27. Cinematography Cinematography is: The use of the camera and lighting to record movement on to film. Shots: establishing shot, master shot (an angle that keeps all characters in play) , close-up, mid-shot, long shot, wide shot, two-shot (encompassing two people), aerial shot, point of view shot, over the shoulder shot, and variations of these. Angle: high angle, low angle, canted angle. Movement: pan, tilt, track, dolly, crane, steadicam, hand-held, zoom, reverse zoom. Composition: framing (Close up etc), rule of thirds (nothing is central always off to one side), depth of field – deep and shallow focus, focus pulls (from out of focus into focus).
  28. 28. Editing Includes transition of image and sound Cutting shot/reverse shot – seen in a reaction or in horror movies when some one is being followed and looks around eye-line match – when two shots are cut together matching the eye lines of two characters graphic match – Match of two similar shapes (ie Psycho plug hole cut into eye) action match – when something happens in a scene and there is a cut, the next shot will show the same action jump cut – a transition between two shots which appears to jump Crosscutting – interweaving of two or more separate scenesCutaway – interruption of a scene with another image (often related ie hands) avoids a jump cut. Dissolve Fade-in Fade-out Wipe – One scene wipes over the next, often from one side Superimposition – The placing of a clip or image over another (you will still see both images) long take short take slow motion Ellipsis – a sudden leap from one subject to another expansion of time – how time is shown through the editing post-production – Editing, SFX, Sound visual effects – Specific computer effects
  29. 29. Sound Diegetic and non-diegetic sound – Diegetic means what sound you can see coming from the frame – Non-Diegetic is the opposite Synchronous/asynchronous sound – Synchronized sound, if the show has a piano player and you hear him playing. Asynchronous is the opposite, i.e. not synched. Sound effects sound motif – or Leitmotif – a sound that can be heard when a specific character is present, i.e. Jaws with der dum… sound bridge – running any sound across from one shot to another to keep it uninterrupted. dialogue & voiceover mode of address/direct address – Talking to the audience sound mixing sound perspective - A sound’s position in space as perceived by the viewer given by volume, timbre, and pitch Score - Music Incidental music – Background music Themes and stings - a short musical phrase, primarily used in television shows and films as a form of punctuation Ambient sound – natural sound from the location, ie humming computers in an office.
  30. 30. How to Answer? In an answer for question 1 you should consider the following format Introduction Introduce the representation and the TV drama you will be analyzing 1st Paragraph Camera shots, angles, movement and composition Write a statement point, explain the representation, then give your evidence of how this is shown through cinematography, then say what it means and how I links back to the representation. Do this around 3 times a paragraph. 2nd Paragraph Editing Do the same as the last paragraph but focused on editing 3rd Paragraph Sound 4th Paragraph Mise-en-scene Always Think!! How does the code they produce decode for the audience Conclusion Highlight how all of the representations have been created and sum up your key findings.
  31. 31. Hustle Hustle is a British television drama series made by Kudos Film and Television for BBC One in the United Kingdom. Created by Tony Jordan and first broadcast in 2004, the series follows a group of con artists who specialise in "long cons" – extended deceptions which require greater commitment, but which return a higher reward than simple confidence tricks. Hustle is a crime drama and will have signs that help us to associate with this genre. For example you will have police involved and specific signs such as Police uniforms, or Money will be prevalent and will often be on show or exchanged. Think about the typical briefcase idea. Hustle is very slick and filmed with a cinematic style, meaning that a lot of time and thought is put into the lighting, cinematography and miseen-scene. On Youtube search for Series 3 episode 6 or use this url How does Hustle use mise-en-scene to create a representation of Women being eye candy?
  32. 32. Merlin Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure television programme by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps. It began broadcasting on BBC One on 20 September 2008. The show is based on the Arthurian legends of the wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur but differs from traditional versions of the legend in many ways. It is produced by independent production company Shine Limited. Merlin is set in medieval times and is part of the action adventure genre, again this means it will be coded in a specific way. For example you will see swords, armour, and cloaks which all represent Knights, who in turn are coded as being honourable and just. Go to youtube search for Merlin Season 2 Episode 2 or type this URL Look at the interaction between the Servant (Merlin –who is also the star of the show) and the Prince (Arthur – The soon to be king) How are cinematography, sound & MES used to create a representation of Class?
  33. 33. Misfits Misfits is a British science fiction comedy-drama television series about a group of young offenders forced to work in a community service programme, where they obtain supernatural powers after a strange electrical storm. The first series started broadcasting on 12 November 2009 on E4, and was produced by Clerkenwell Films. Misfits is a contemporary drama and has a cast of teens/young people, they are all young offenders and therefore the orange jump suit is a clear sign of there status. The Main representations here are AGE and ETHNICITY. Go to Youtube and search for Misfits Season 2 Episode 1 How does the cinematography highlight representations of Class and age? In the graveyard scene, how is a representation of Ethnicity created? Think about dialogue.
  34. 34. Cranford Set in the early 1840s in the fictional village of Cranford in the county of Cheshire in North West England, the story focuses primarily on the town's single and widowed middle class female inhabitants who are comfortable with their traditional way of life and place great store in propriety and maintaining an appearance of gentility. Cranford is a Period drama, and deals heavily with representations of class. This can be seen through the way that people talk (SOUND) and the behaviors and costume (MES) of the characters. In Cranford you wont see many ethnic minorities, this may be because it is set in 1842, a time when the UK wasn’t such a multicultural country. Go to Youtube and search for Cranford episode 1 part 1 (it may look like a funny spelling of Cranford) How is Class represented in Cranford? What is the significance of the way that true Ladies eat oranges? What does the Editing in this drama suggest? Does it help to signify any representations?
  35. 35. Eastenders & Hollyoaks Eastenders is a Soap Opera set in the East of London in the fictional town of Walford. The show has been running for many years and offers a slice of real London life. As you watch the show you will be able to see many typical stereotypes from the ‘tarty’ barmaid to the cockney ‘geezer’ (Alfie & Kat Moon). Enders offers a look at a range of people from all walks of life. Hollyoaks has been shown since the mid 90’s and is relatively new (as compared to Corrie and Enders). The show is set in the fictional town of Hollyoaks, near Chester (North England) and is renowned for being a youth skewed soap, often having the ‘beautiful’ people adorning the screen. This in Soap TV Drama itself offers us a clear Representation of Gender. Realism Fictional Continuous story Single Narrative Multi-narrative Often Single Camera Watch any current episode of each soap, Cliff hangers More Money put in what are the key Deals with social More time spent on representations, and how issues each episode are they created? Multi-camera Quickly made
  36. 36. 24 24 is an American television series produced for the Fox Network and syndicated worldwide, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer. Each 24-episode season covers 24 hours in the life of Bauer, using the real time method of narration. 24 is an example of an American TV Drama, typically it is incredibly fast paced and full of action. There are some key representations here, namley Age – Jack is not young! And Ethnicity – You have a variety of different ethnic groups as Top agents or Villains. The way that the US make drama’s often puts ours to shame, they often spend a lot of money and time producing TV which is cinematic and intense. This is only one example of a US Tv Drama please also consider the following and more… The Sopranos - Gangsters The Wire – Corrupt Cops The West Wing – Politics House – Medical Gilmore Girls – Women Talking (great on for negative Gender rep)