How did you USE, DEVELOP or CHALLENGE codes and conventions of real media products?
Formy research, I looked at sub- genres of SOAP operas to follow the conventions of social realism and make sure I didnt create a hybrid SOAP by crossing into any other SOAP opera codes and conventions.
A tele-novella is a dramatic programming popular in Latin America, Portugal, and Spain. Most tele-novellas have a narrative arc that lasts under a year. There are repeated social messages in their story lines, and as a result have a very strong convention with the topics included in their story lines. Themes conventionally include urban violence, homosexuality, and racism. Examples are Betty La Fea and Canaveral de Pasiones - A soap featuring more woman than men, giving ideologies of a lifestyle that viewers can strive to achieve. Features a lot sex. Extreme close ups of breasts Sound bridging to allow drama to carry into an establishing shot using panning. Simple jump shots are used show two different narratives. Mexican, upbeat jazzy groove soundtrack. Reverse image; edits. Reaction shots and point of view shots.
Real people who talk naturally but are put in situations which are pre-planned by the producers for our entertainment. They are not professional actors of actresses. IE. The Only Way is Essex & Made In Chelsea.
Scripted reality SOAP operas are normally in big cities, with a good social night life; bars and clubs. Expensive clothing gives a status of wealth. Props are within these adornments. Lighting matches moods. High key lighting is often used, to insinuate glamour and riches, not a trait of realism. Close ups shots are often used, to see body language expressed. These are relevant because the main story lines repeated in scripted reality soaps are affairs, break ups, jealousy, sex, family problems, fights and love.
Melodrama SOAP operas are plot driven, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and raging conflicts. Examples would be: Hollyoaks Days of our Lives Downtown Abbey Home and Away They contain stereotypical characters. The village antagonist an evil bad character, the hero and the village tart. Incidental non-diegetic music is used at the beginning of each episode to create the atmosphere until the characters start speaking. Melodramas give the audience a cathartic escape. Catharsis story lines - By watching people go through similar emotions and situations as we do, we feel better about ourselves. The purging of emotions, and escapism story lines.
Set in Australia, these SOAPs are a hybrid of melodrama SOAPs and realism SOAPs, and only normally produce 2.5 hours~ worth of viewing footage per week. Examples include: Neighbours Home and Away Typically recorded on stereotypical Australian locations such as beaches, or schools and cafes. They bridge most footage that doesn’t have any dialogue in with non-diegetic music, but emphasise diegetic sounds to make it realistic. There is also a dramatised narrative. Almost every episode uses cliff hangers.
Topics such as adultery, nudity, racism, drug use, and homosexuality Characters included in these SOAPs are: Patriarch Rebel Underdog The Girl Next Door The Villain The House wife The couple
Social Realism SOAPs focus on everyday characters and situations, frequently in working class environments. Examples are Coronation Street and Waterloo Road. They are filmed normally using low lighting conditions, in common casual settings, utilising a social hub, be it a bar, pub, or cafe, or sometimes an educational facility. The drama constantly revolves around these locations.
Social realism SOAPs have a strong tendency conform to its audience dominating ideologies. However some might go against these to create drama and shock, but these run a risk of damaging the SOAPs reputation and possibly endanger the actors reputation, as illustrated by Eastenders storyline about “baby Lexi”. Click here for more detail on how viewers are influenced strongly by ideological storylines.
Fear and intimidation is a common tool of oppression used in Waterloo Road for bullying, and in the finale the thugs utilised a car park’s height to threaten their target. The add extra tension and danger to the shot, we used a toy knife to push Tom over the side of the car park.
Click here to view the youtube video illustrating the toy knife. Click here to view the youtube video illustrating how Tom was never in any danger.
As our group consisted of teenagers 17-18 years old, and constructing a social realism SOAP opera trailer, the closest style model we could relate to was Waterloo Road – Consisting of a high percentage of students.