How does the Skins Promo Trailer create representation of young people
How does the Skins promo trailer create representation of youngpeople? There are many aspects to a video sequence such as a promo trailer that canbe considered when creating a representation of social groups; in this case youngpeople. Camera angles, camera movement, sound, editing and mise-en-scene allneed to be considered in order to create the desired representation of a group. In the Skins promo trailer of the first series not much can be saidabout the camera angles & movement due to the fast cuts between shots duringediting not allowing much time for the camera to move around. However, when wecan see the camera move, it tends to move with the characters in shot; for example,when a guy stumbles and falls to the ground the camera moves side to side and thendownwards to follow him. Also, throughout the majority of the trailer the camerapans and sometimes slightly zooms into shots until the last shot/frame where all themain characters are laying down – here the camera zooms out. Before this last framemost of the shots tend to be very close to people’s faces so we can see what they’redoing and their expressions. These movements could symbolise that we’re going toget very close to these characters’ lives throughout this series. About the charactersthemselves, as the camera is so close to their faces, it could symbolise theirpersonalities; they might be quite bold or ‘in your face’, or perhaps the cameraplacing means their expressions are important as they have changeable moods.There is also a point in the trailer where one character is laying down, with thecamera looking directly down on him as somebody writes ‘virgin’ on his forehead.This is the only time a character is shown in this way, such a camera shotundermines this particular character (and combined with what’s being done to him)and makes him come across as a slight outsider of the situation he is in. All the othercharacters tend to be met face on or when the camera is slightly below them,emphasising their importance or perhaps popularity. The whole meaning of thiscould be to demonstrate or represent a kind of hierarchy that might be found withinthe social group of young people – whether this representation is accurate of allyoung people is debateable. This kind of hierarchy is further represented in lateraspects of the trailer’s composition (mise-en-scene in particular). There is also acontrast of low angle shots in the first exciting half of the party emphasising theboldness of the characters and high angle shots in the worse half of the party whichmakes the viewer look down on the characters (perhaps in judgement of them or tomake them seem not as strong and more vulnerable). Sound is also a part of building up the representation of young people in theSkins trailer. The track is actually called Standing in the Way of Control; this title fitswell with what is going on in the trailer- a party that is out of control. This makesyoung people appear to not have control over their lives or what they do, and notreally care either. At the point where darkness starts to flash in the shots, where thegood half of the party ends and the bad part begins, the beat in the song also dropshelping to emphasise that things are about to change. The beat then picks up againat the crash of a symbol, which is in sync with the smashing of a vase on the floor inthe shot which further symbolises that things are turning nasty. On the last shot the
song stops almost entirely, leaving a simplistic heart-type-beat low in thebackground helping to show that the party is now over- this links to an opposition ofwhat a heart might beat like in the previous half of the trailer while it’s rushed andexciting. There isn’t a great deal of editing in this skins trailer regarding hue and otheraspects but the editing that is there is definitely important in building up therepresentation of youth. The most obvious part of editing we can see when watchingthis trailer is the massive amount of cuts there are between shots, not only are theremany of them but they also move very fast only allowing a second or so for eachframe to be seen. This creates a sort of strobe-like effect which is very suitable to theparty setting. However, other than creating this effect these cuts can also beconsidered to be very symbolic. The number of cuts there are could symbolise howmany different things there are going on in a young person’s life, and hence that it isa very busy life to lead with many different people and activities. The speed of thecuts could symbolise how fast youth seems to go in one’s life, and how fast-pacedyoung people may live their lives. However, these kinds of cuts can also symbolise analternative to fast-paced in that it can create a total non sense of time. Because wedo not see what happens between each cut we cannot say how long the party lastsor create much of a time scale- the clips may not even be chronological. Therefore,these cuts could create a representation of young people in that they do notrecognise time which could lead to the assumption that they aren’t organised orresponsible. Mise-en-scene is a fairly important factor in this particular trailer inrepresenting young people- as what we actually see in the shots show what youngpeople supposedly do with their spare time. One of the first things we see in a shotin the trailer is a record, a pretty safe symbol of music, which (combined with a songbeing played in the background) leads a viewer to think young people enjoy andhave a good with the addition of music to a situation. This generation is one that isvery much centred on music, especially when sub-cultures are concerned so this is apretty important symbol in the representation of youth. There is also a vast amountof kissing, nudity and drugs shown in the trailer which fits right into the saying of‘Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’. The sheer amount of this type of thing shown in thetrailer definitely represents youth in rebellion in the form of sex and drugs- and withthese come connotations of irresponsibility, education dropouts, fun, illegality andpotential danger. Because the majority of activity shown in the trailer is of this sort,it makes it seem as if young people don’t do much else with their time apart fromget drunk and have sex- which is pretty counter-productive and could easily belooked down on by outside audiences (audiences not in this age group). In someshots there is darkness in the background highlighted with things such as fairy lights,to me this provides its own representation of a teenage life in itself- there are manydark and miserable times as a teenager but the things you remember are the(perhaps few) good times (represented as pretty fairy lights). There are also amixture of items that have connotations of still being a child and growing up. Forexample, the water pistols and tricycle symbolise childhood and immaturity whereas symbols such as high heels symbolise sophistication and smart-dress. This mixture
of items demonstrates that of what a young person is- the gap between childhoodand adulthood and hence the growth from immaturity to maturity. In conclusion, the exclusive content shown in this trailer made to representyoung people definitely shows them in one particular light- that being mainlyirresponsible people that only want to have fun (the kind that often has bad sideeffects) and are therefore reckless. The trailer uses all aspects of camera angles,sound, editing and mise-en-scene to create this representation. In my opinion, thisrepresentation is not entirely accurate as it cannot be generalised- it only representsa certain type of young person at a certain time; not all young people behave likethis and those that do are not like it all of the time.