OCR Media Studies – A2 Level
Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio
Soap Opera Genre –
Name: Dayle Latham
Candidate Number: 6192
Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College
Center Number: 64770
Trailer 1: Eastenders – Tanya and Derek affair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF-nM3nkOFI
Verbal Codes –
The trailer contains an intense and incidental soundtrack to create a tense atmosphere and sharp, explosive small scenes of what's to come between the
characters on screen: Tanya and Derek. The repetition of the dialogue: “I’m a bad man” – repeated by Derek the very bad older brother who inevitably dies,
constantly associates himself to evil and badness as he is ‘villainous’ character (Propp) and knows that darkness and secrets follow him. The narrative text between
slides of media text, leads suggestive meanings as it reads: “secrets aren’t safe” – “Time is running out” creates a build up for the episodes to come and tells a short
story about what its going to be about.
The denotation of the voiceover are “I’m a bad man, I’m a very bad man”. The connotations of the non-diegetic voiceover at the end of the trailer are that he has
accepted who he is and acknowledges that he is a bad man – this could also be a deeper confession for things to come as well as to be revealed. Another example
of this is: The verbal code “Terrorizing my wife” connotes that he has been terrorizing her in both a mental and physical way, which also leads me and the rest of
the audience to believe that Max is extremely angry and upset with something that Derek has done, though the mystery and excitement is the uncertainty over
Non-Verbal Codes –
The trailer presents a very dark, dystopian setting (‘Disequilibrium’ – Todorov) to suggest that Derek is a dark and evil character and he is associated to the
‘Dangerous Class’ (Karl Marx) that is often stereotyped in the genre, another example of this within the ‘Soap Opera’ genre is: Kaine from Emmerdale – who is
portrayed as a very mean and sadistic character. Some of the facial expressions denote shock, hate and aggression – arguably they are overdone to exaggerate the
expressions and exacerbate the situation. The inclusion of a Dark leather jacket, black hair, creates a very dark character that has dreary connotations hanging from
him, for example: death, funeral, gloom, ghoul.
Tanya’s devilish and seductive facial expression suggests her and Derek may have more than just a family relationship – she is also portrayed and comes across as a
“strong female” (Rebecca Feasey – 2007) and potentially a femme fatale. The burning letter connotes that the whole situation is going to end up going in flames
and eventually burn out – this would be a symbolic metaphor as this is a reoccurring theme that happens for many, something can start out so innocent and sweet
– and then end up in an inferno of flames destroying everything that was once so beautiful. This is a common metaphor that surrounds the soap opera genre.
Whenever the camera picks up on Derek a low key lighting is casted across the character – informing the audience that he is a villainous character (Propp).
Technical Codes –
Over the shoulder shots, and high angles down at Derek connote his insignificant side and how he is now seen as pathetic and weak by his younger brothers, he
also clutches on to his body, a sign that Derek has been hurt and now acts as the prey and his younger brothers act as the hunters.
Fast paced cuts from different scenes illustrate a chase and race for time, a test to see who will finally come out on top out off the brothers, who will die? Who will
survive? Who will eventually come out on top.
Final scene, has a close up shot of Derek saying “I’m a bad man, I’m a very bad man” – once he says it, high key lighting appears across his face connoting that he
has confessed to being a villain and accepts that he is a bad person; and can finally have the light shine on him – he is free.
Trailer 2: Brendan's Last Dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNzYonfBkqs
Verbal Codes –
The director and editor of Hollyoaks clearly highlight the themes of the episode with small narrative titles such as; revenge, secrets and love. The non-diegetic
soundtrack has also been placed in to add to the soap operas tension in the extremely heightened situation, displaying a chase not against time, but against life,
family, love and hate. These emotions are very common within the soap opera genre and would directly effect an audience as it’s a commonality within life and its
something people go through day in and day out. The fast paced sound track incorporates the idea of a cat and mouse chase as well.
“No!” – is frantically screamed at the end of the trailer by Brendan’s boyfriend, as it is said Brendan puts his head down connoting that he knows he’s done
something wrong and this denotes that his boyfriend doesn’t agree with what he has done.
Brendan screams at his dad: “why me!” – signifying a very strong deeper meaning which is, that the past that Brendan had with his father isn’t a very nice one – in
fact it is revealed before that Brendan’s father sexually abused him for several years so the audience will already know what has caused, such an uproar.
Non-Verbal Codes –
The opening setting is on top of a bridge for trains. Brendan and another male character, who seems similarly antagonistic, are fighting by the train tracks. The
director and editor have used low lighting to denote the theme of darkness and a dystopian atmosphere which has been created by the creators and the situation.
Brendan is presented as a dark and ‘monstrous character’ (Neale & Krutnik), which is anchored by his moustache, black leather jacket and bloody appearance in
the trailer. All the other characters on screen seem to fear Brendan and are below him, even when the other male character has him pinned up against the barrier
he still exerts dominance. The trailer also represents facial expressions of fear, sadness, love and pure emotion – mainly fear – because – say why and link to the
scandal and shock value often represented and ‘repeated’ (Steve Neale) in the genre.
Towards the end of the trailer police lights appear to be flashing around the square/main part of hollyoaks – connoting that Brendan’s going to finally be caught
and this is the end of the line for Brendan.
Technical Codes –
An over the shoulder shot is used to portray action and the fast cuts between the characters on screen, which highlights the constant fighting backwards and
forwards between the characters. This also links to the diegetic soundtrack which has been put in place to add an extreme feeling of tension and uneasiness, which
will certainly help entice the audience and fans of the show to watch and find out what scandalous events will take place.
High angle shot of the two fighting on the train tracks – used to connote that neither men will come out on top – followed by a close up of Brendan’s face being
screwed up by the other male character – a complete juxtaposition of the angle shot used prier as it connotes that Brendan is now under the male character.
A cliff hanger shot is used to keep the audience in a blind spot so not everything is revealed, and so the audience have to wait and anticipate who will actually come
out on top in hollyoaks.
Evaluation of Textual Analysis –
Compare and Contrast
Trailer 1) - Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale) and ‘exploit’ (Abercrombie – 1995) – Eastenders – Tanya
and Derek affair trailer Small narrative titles have been used to tell the story and portray the episodes themes and issues, between Tanya, Derek and the rest of the
characters on screen. For example the verbal code – “secrets aren't safe. Time is running out” – gives a brief summary of the plot and what is in
store for all Eastenders viewers. The inclusion of an intense and incidental soundtrack to create a tense atmosphere and sharp explosive small
scenes of what's to come is also very good and will definitely be considered as something worth ‘repeating’ by myself and the other group
members during pre-production.
The repetition of the dialogue: “I’m a bad man” – repeated by Derek, the very bad ‘villainous’ (Propp) older brother who inevitably dies,
constantly associate himself to evil and badness, which is common in soap opera trailers and will no doubt be something we look to ‘exploit’ in
Finally, at the end of the trailer: bbc.co.uk/eastenders – for social networkers similar approach to Hollyoaks just less aware of social networking
going on. The cross media promotion of this trailer is something that will be necessary to include in our own trailer as synergy with existing
media products will appeal to the younger demographic we are trying to target.
Trailer 2) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale) and ‘exploit’ (Abercrombie – 1995) - Hollyoaks Trailor
#BrendansLastDance 2013 Trailor 40’s The trailer has tasters of what the audience should expect, as they clearly highlight the themes of the episode with small narrative titles such as;
revenge, secrets and love.
The director and editor use an over the shoulder shots to portray action and the fight backwards and forwards between some of the characters
on screen – this also links to the soundtrack put in place which is fit for tension and to create the tense atmosphere.
Similar to the Eastenders trailer, #Hollyoaks at the end of the trailor for twitter users and social networkers who are interested in following the
show for further news and updates on the shows is a contemporary convention we will also ensure is included in our own promotional trailer.
Within my own group piece I would use the same fiery approach to my trailer but use more gloom and doom to portray the themes within our
trailer – and use the non – diegetic narrative that they used – secrets – love, etc.