Period dramas


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Period dramas

  1. 1. Period dramas To learn and understand what a period drama is and the conventions of it.
  2. 2. Period Drama overview <ul><li>Period dramas are not just literacy adaptations although these do account for a substantial part of the sub-genre and for many audience members. </li></ul><ul><li>Period Dramas do include series that are specific for a certain time frame for example, Life on Mars, Rome. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Period Drama over view <ul><li>The BBC in recent years broadcast series including Bleak House, Cranford, Sense and Sensibility and Jane Eyre. </li></ul><ul><li>TheBBC have recently decided to focus on more 20th century historical dramas such as The Diary of Anne Frank and the dramatisation of John Buchan spy novel The 39 Steps </li></ul><ul><li>This was due to the ratings dipping for the BBC1's most recent costume drama, Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, which sank to a low of 2.5 million viewers for one midweek episode last month. By comparison, The Diary of Anne Frank pulled in about 4.5 million viewers, while The 39 Steps, starring former Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones, attracted 7.3 million. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Contemporary audience <ul><li>Any costume drama set in earlier times, whether it is based on literacy or not will be understood and interpreted by a contemporary audience through a sense of how those times were different. </li></ul><ul><li>Costume dramas are a form of representation and this is why they are so popular. </li></ul><ul><li>They give a sense of how life in those days were different to life today and which aspects were better or worse. </li></ul><ul><li>The above generally relate to the individual viewers own set of social, cultural and political beliefs and their own life experiences. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Contemporary audience <ul><li>When you go on to analyse period drama you need to deconstruct not only the representations on screen but going further to consider how these represent contemporary points of view. </li></ul><ul><li>A period drama needs to ‘contemporary impact’. This is achieved by the following: </li></ul><ul><li>To reproduce a period drama but looking at a different aspect of the story or character to make connections with the modern time. For example Elizabeth I was adapted and focused on her private and public lives. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Contemporary audiences <ul><li>Another is to foreground a writers specific interpretation, which tends to cause a great deal of controversy between the writer and historians although on a positive this tends to lead to good publicity for the programme. </li></ul><ul><li>Another strategy is to appeal to International audiences. This is fairly easy to do since British History and heritage is of great interest to the world wide. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cost and quality <ul><li>Period dramas are hugely expensive to produce. This is because they tend to have a filmic quality to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything about a costume drama has to be given the appearance of quality and due to this it is never cheap. </li></ul><ul><li>The set needs to reflect the time along with the costume and props. </li></ul><ul><li>The BBC adaptation of the Bleak House is reported to have cost £8 million pounds. This is seen as a worth while investment due to popularity of the series. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Cost and quality Costume Set Authentic props Actors Extras
  9. 9. Life on mars <ul><li>BBC drama Life on Mars can be classed as post modern/crime drama. Although it is not a literacy adaptation it is classed as a period drama as it is set in the 1970s as a recognizable historical drama. </li></ul><ul><li>Life on Mars does share conventions with the period drama as it relies o us accepting the authenticity of its mise en scene. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Life on Mars
  11. 11. Mise en scene <ul><li>Mise en scene is all about continuity. </li></ul><ul><li>Costume, lighting, locations, and props the to create ‘the feel’ and verisimilitude (believable word of the text) that is required. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mise En Scene Cranford Mansion showing power. Costume- bonnets, black dress, blankets. Location Lighting Props- chairs, blankets.
  13. 13. Key points dramas <ul><li>Mise En scene is one of the main elements of period drama. </li></ul><ul><li>Costume is very important as it shows the role of the character, the class of the character and the life it leads. </li></ul><ul><li>The location of the scene outside and inside. </li></ul><ul><li>The props that are in the scene. </li></ul><ul><li>Most story lines involve family, love and torture. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Activity <ul><li>Produce a storyboard for the launch of a trailer on Pride and Prejudice/Life on Mars/Anne Frank and as you do make production notes on: </li></ul><ul><li>Key characters </li></ul><ul><li>Key narratives </li></ul><ul><li>Mise en scene and authenticity (most important) </li></ul><ul><li>Style (to appeal to a contemporary audience) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Spin’ </li></ul><ul><li>Synopsis of Pride and prejudice on Pupil Public area </li></ul>