Tension is a key element in engaging the
audience, but how is it achieved? You’ll
need to be able to refer in detail to
Playing the game:
In this phase of the show, how are each of these represented?
• Where is the host placed? What is their role? How do they interact with
the contestants, the studio audience, the TV audience, and any other
people within the show?
• Where are the contestants placed? What is their role? How much
guidance do they appear to have had?
Look at the use of studio lighting, camera shots, and editing, and listen to the
music and dialogue, to see how these representations have been created
The climax or final round of the game:
• How does this sections of the show use media language to create tension?
• How is as sense of jeopardy created?
• How is this different to the earlier rounds?
• Consider especially the use of lighting, camera, sound and pacing.
• Questions start off easy?
• Break bumpers (what are they?)
• Set design
• Personality – the expectations raised by the different
• Prize money?
• Use of audience
• Music – dramatic and portentious
• Mise-en-scene - Set – dark, with the chair lit when the
house lights go down, Can’t see other contestants
during individual rounds – but we know the scores and
what’s to play for
• Timing – note the use of the graphic in later series
where a white light moves around the square to
indicate time is running out
• Camera movement and editing – camera cuts to three
different angles of the contestant and closes in
gradually each time to show face in close up – why?
• Cinematography/Split Screen so we can see both
teams, one above the other, for the starter round and
we can compare scores
• Timing and pace – near the end, Paxman reads the
questions quicker and expects answers quicker –
especially good when the scores are close
• Host – can be hard towards contestants
• Audience – their reactions (heard though not seen) can
encourage an emotional response on behalf of the
• How is tension created in Pointless and Ninja
• Look at the way they use split screen effects
• Is tension important to ALL quiz/game shows?
• Is it necessary for Shooting Stars or QI or is the
humour more imporatnt?