Tv drama, key terms and analysis

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G322, Media Studies TV Drama. List of micro features using key terms and offering some typical usage in TV Drama

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Tv drama, key terms and analysis

  1. 1. G322 TV Drama Assessment Criteria Getting the Marks
  2. 2. Assessment Objectives ‘The purpose of this exam is to assess candidates’ media textual analysis skills and their understanding of the concept of representation using a short unseen moving image extract.’ Assessment Criteria Students will demonstrate their understanding in the following ways:  Explanation, analysis and argument (20 marks)  Use of examples (20 marks)  Use of terminology (10 marks) Health Warning  This booklet is intended to act as a generalised guide to how production techniques usually create meaning. o It does not contain ‘the answers’ in a definitive or absolute way.  When you watch the sequence and write your essay you must make detailed and specific reference to the text and you must be flexible in your interpretation of techniques, sometimes a low angle shot does not automatically connote power & control but, given a different context, can contribute to a representation of isolation and vulnerability.
  3. 3. Camera Terminology Explanation (definition) Analysis (possible representational meaning) Shots establishing shot Shows where and when the action takes place. Establishes a clear sense of place / environment. close-up On a person, their face fills the frame. On an object, the object fills the frame. Draws attention to reactions / object of representational importance long shot On a person, feet to head are in frame. Places the person within the environment. wide shot Lots of the scenery / peripheral detail is in frame Gives sense of place (is often an establishing shot). Is the character out of place? two-shot Two characters are in frame at the same time. Creates relationships, tensions (conflict) & we illustrates differences point of view shot The camera moves with the character, and is at eye-line level We are being asked to empathise with the character’s experience. Movement pan or tilt Tilt, camera moves up / down. Pans = left / right Follows significant actions / movements. Tilt up from shoes to reveal whole person track The camera, on tracks, moves in a line through or across the scene. Creates a sense of speed Slow reveal of place (can be voyeuristic) Dolly (in / out) The camera moves toward or away from a subject. Creates / diminishes: tension / shock / anxiety crane A sweeping movement of the camera through the scene (vertical and horizontal) Dramatic place / exciting action. Aerial Mounted on an aircraft, high above action Dramatic / panoramic sense of place hand-held The camera moves unsteadily as if held be a character in motion Disorientating and immersive. Angle high angle The camera is above the subject. Low status, submission, powerlessness low angle The camera is below the subject High status, dominance, powerful canted angle The camera is tilted at an angle Disorienting (something is wrong) Composition framing Positioning of objects within the frame. Significant relationships depth of field The focus of objects behind / in front of the subject Shallow or deep. Importance / Significance focus pulls Focus from fore ground to background or vica versa Draws us the unfolding events, reveals key info
  4. 4. Sound Terminology Explanation (definition) Analysis (possible representational meaning) Diegetic dialogue delivery How the dialogue is delivered: Is an order, a request, an interjection, a plea, a command..? May connote a sense of status (relationship) between characters. accent Clearly accented speech Only really relevant for regional identity. It may serve to identify the outsider from the locals and connote difference. tone The tone of voice links with the delivery. Is it sarcastic, curious, patronising, angry...? Codes the emotion of the character and their feelings towards a situation / event. ambient / atmospheric The background noise of the scene. Is very important in denoting the type of place the characters are in. perspective This is used to draw our attention to dialogue or atmosphere in the place. Places the characters in a place with a particular feel to it. Non - Diegetic Effects sting A sound which draws our attention to specific event or reaction. Think horror films. Underlines a character’s emotional response or startles the audience. Music tempo The speed / pace of the music. Heightens or diminishes tension. Emphasises emotional reactions. instruments The instruments used. Can bring cultural meaning or can code feeling of the place. Holiday, technology, work... crescendos A climax in the music. Will serve to highlight the climax in the scene and guide audience response. motif A piece of music used to introduce a character. Can illustrate the nature of the character. Voice over A narrator who comments on the action and the character’s feelings towards the action (may be a character in the scene). Can give us additional information or further understand relationships between characters. Can often be contrapuntal.
  5. 5. Mise-en-Scene Terminology Explanation (definition) Analysis (possible representational meaning) Costume Hats & Shoes Hats and shoes. Really helpful in signifying jobs, status, attitude... Uniforms Formal (jobs) and informal (social groups) Can help connote status, intimidate outsiders... Cultural That has clear cultural roots Can helpful for ethnicity and denotes people from inside or outside a particular culture. Quality Expensive / cheap / ordinary. Codes power / wealth / social standing... Style The period the costume comes Fashionable? Suggests social status and insider / outsider Lighting High Key No shadows Don’t mention unless it acts as counterpoint to low key Low Key Deliberate shadows Mystery, duality, hidden danger... Colour Obviously coloured lights Colours can carry lots of connotations... Acting / Performance Expression Emotion revealed by the face (in close up) Reflects reaction / relationships Body Language Movement / posture of characters How do they feel in the place Make Up & Hair Scruffy or styled Physical condition or rough appearance Sense of style and physical condition Prosthetics Injuries, supernatural, alien Dramatic sense of otherness or physical condition Props Cars Type of car Helpful in coding status, profession, attitude. Held Objects Weapons, tools, narrative significance Power & authority, profession, status... Setting Location Type or place. Feel of place Professional or family? Comfortable or tense? Frantic or calm? Sophisticated or rough? Furnishings Key objects of set Help contribute to feel of the location.
  6. 6. Editing Terminology Explanation (definition) Analysis (possible representational meaning) Cutting Continuity Editing Where the edit creates a logical sequence of narrative action Creates narrative meaning and constructs relationships (conflicts) & cause with effect Montage editing A sequence of individual images which are not linked by action Compresses time. Gives a snapshot sense of place. Shot / Reverse Shot Cutting between two characters, usually in conversation Creates relationships and links between elements in the story. Match on action Cutting on an action that starts in shot A and completes in shot B Emphasises significant action / events / objects. Jump Cut Cutting into the same object and not moving the camera by +30o A disorientating edit, which encodes confusion or a sudden realisation. Cross Cutting Cutting between two events happening at the same time in different places Often creates a sense of tension. Will the hero make it in time or be caught out? Speed The speed (rhythm) of the edit. Intense action = fast pace Calm action = slow pace Eye-line Match A character looks and the cut takes us to the object they are looking at (usually in CU) We see that the character sees, we know what the character knows Slow / Long Take Attention stays with some characters more than others Positions the audience in relation to a character Whose story is it? Repetition of action We see the same event from several different angles in quick succession Emphasising significant action, keeps up the pace. Can emphasis skill / power Transitions Fade The sequence fades to black (or white) End of a episode Dissolve As the last shot of sequence A fades out the first shot of sequence B fades in at the same time. Creates links / relationships. Calm / dreamlike Slow Motion Slowing down the action Emphasising significant action – stretches time. Graphic Match Two objects with similar shapes link the final shot of sequence A and the first of sequence B Creates links between objects significant in the story / people / places Post Production Special Effects An visual effects created on a computer Deeper sense of the character’s abilities, thought process, feelings. Captions Words which appear on the screen overlaying the action. Typeface & animation are significant. Adds information / content to the scene.

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