EastEnders Evaluation Creating a strong BRAND IDENTITY
Which soap is this? As we are brought up through our childhood, we learn things without knowing it; it is part of our norm. The opening credits and theme tune are easily recognisable and part of our everyday life. This soap is ‘EastEnders’; it is set in East London in the made up town of Walford. From this image, the viewer can see that the soap is set in the present modern day London due to the O2 Arena and the curve of the River Thames. The audience know that it is set in a city because of the grey filtering on the mise-en-scene. Where and when is it set?
Which institution broadcasts it? BBC stands for the British Broadcasting Company and is one of the biggest broadcasting institutions in Britain. It is the only one that is funded by the TV License. BBC broadcasts this soap three times a week after ‘tea time’ when the family are ‘cooling down’ before going to bed. The outlook of the city, which coincides with the title, makes the audience assume that the characters are not up-market or upper class, they are working class and this allows the audience to relate to them. The opening credits start with a bass drum beat that makes us assume that life for the characters are a bit drab. The drum beat is followed by a slow, minor, piano tune that emphasises the dullness and sadness of the characters. From the music, what do we assume about the lifestyles of the characters?
Storyboard. Straight away the audience is thrown into a house of one of the characters. The mise-en-scene is filled with a mess of blue props and a football which indicate that a young boy lives in the house. However the shoes/boots belong to someone older. As the camera pans up the stairs we see more children’s toys, but in this time pink. The audience now knows that a young girl and a teenage boy live in the house.
We then see a woman start to descend the stairs, wrapping a nightgown around her. The audience now notice the tacky pictures and wallpaper and realise that the house has not been decorated in a while. We can tell the family that live there are working class but they are trying to make up for it by putting ‘classy’ things around the house. The woman descending the stairs is not a young mother so we assume that she is the children’s grandmother. She says, “A goodbye would’ve been nice,” to the man which gives the audience the impression that the man and her have just spent the night together and he is sneaking out. Cont. We now see the man that put the boots on in full. We know that he is sneaking out after a one night stand which is not something people of his age really do. The audience assume that the children are not in the house at that moment because ethey would’ve most probably noticed the man leaving.
Cont. The scene then cuts to the ‘Greasy Spoon’ Café where a woman is sitting at a table with a worried look on her face. The woman herself does not look like she belongs in this working class atmosphere because she has flashy clothes, hair, make-up and jewellery. The men sitting at another table look like they do belong in the working class café because they are wearing tabards that give the audience the impression that they are builders or construction workers out for a fry-up. The camera then cuts to the front of the woman as her phone rings. As she sees the caller ID we notice a flicker of emotion dart across her face; she is scared. As she answers she simply says, “Michael.”
Cont. The camera then cuts to ‘Michael’ and we see a white man in a suit. He is sat in a black leather chair and is surrounded by clutter which shows that he doesn’t have a secretary to organise him. The office is only lit by two separate lights; a desk lamp and a dim window light. As the scene cuts to him, he says to the woman in the café, “How’s my favourite prostitute?” which explains why the woman is so dressed up and looks out of place. The camera cuts back to the woman, she now looks ashamed of herself. We see that she is wearing expensive rings and a watch, all of these things contribute the façade she is playing: she wants to attract men. She answers with, “How’s my least favourite person?”
Cont. The scene cuts back to the man in the office,, but this time the camera is looking at him through the office furniture which makes the audience feel as though they are spying on the action taking place. He then says, “You and Eddy, yeah? Or Jodie gets the message for real.” The audience now knows that ‘Michael’ is blackmailing the woman into prostitution to keep a secret, secret. They both then hang up their phones and we see the woman speechless. Will she or won’t she? The audience then see the two builders turn round, smiling, and look at her as though they had heard the whole conversation. She turns away from them embarrassed.