Soap Opera Genre –
Name: Gemma O’Donovan
Candidate Number: 6715
Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College
Center Number: 64770
OCR Media Studies – A2 Level
Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio
Trailer 1 – SKINS
Verbal Codes – The diegetic voiceover used was at the end of the trailer and said in a deep and
serious voice to represent the trailers dark and gloomy mood which gives enigma clues (Roland
Barthes) to the audience as they get subtle hints. The voice over also is informing the name of
the show and its airing channel which is essential as audiences and consumers need to know
how to watch. The soundtrack was by a band called Arcade Fire, which is an alternative band
which represents the type of demographic that would watch. The fast pace of the song at the
end on the trailer shows these characters getting prepared to start.
Non-Verbal Codes – The characters facial expressions and body language connote fear because
of the pressures of growing up in todays society. The lighting is highlighting all of the characters
varied facial expressions which show that they're away with their thoughts. The characters are
naked until they eventually fall to the ground which connotes the name and links in with the
word ‘Skins’; this also shows them as vulnerable characters. The characters are falling through
an ocean filled with all the characters in; the sea is very dark and empty which connotes how
the characters could be feeling due to the issues they are facing.
Technical Codes – Skins uses several different camera angles to make the the trailer more of an
experience and exciting for the audience. One of the most popular camera angles is the high
angle shot used when they're all falling to the ground. This connotes them from a high
perspective as they are shown less dominant and their personalities are replaced with
vulnerable young people. The high angle also shows all of the characters facial expressions in a
clear way so we the audience can see how the characters could be feeling. Skins attracts a
younger audience and I feel like this is because a young audience can ‘personally identify’ (Katz)
with the characters as they're off a similar age.
Trailer 2 – Ripper street
Verbal Codes – The verbal code dialogue of ‘Before he swallows you whole’ is an idea of what
goes on in the season of the soap opera. It connotes that there are some very serious sort of
people that will not be afraid of getting themselves into certain situations. The verbal code of
the soundtrack is ‘Power’ by Kanye West which connotes to the idea that there are powerful
people in this soap. Rap music contradicts the time that the trailer is set in, however adds an
angry feel to it and possibly attracts a younger audience, which gives multitude of audience
Non-Verbal Codes – The ripper street use a very dark lighting which links to mise-en-scene as
the lighting depicts a gloomy mood which could be hinting at a dark storyline to the audience.
This could be emphasised by adding effects to it when editing and putting all the trailer
together. The setting that is used is in a village that looks very Victorian and old. This is also
emphasised and added to the theme of it being old by the costumes that they wear. They're all
in posh and wealthy clothes and costumes which add to the time era that the trailer was set in.
Technical Codes – There are many close ups of all characters, and it jumps from character to
character; this worked very well as the audience are shown all the characters one by one, which
is where they may build a ‘personal relationship’ (Katz) with a certain character. This adds
suspense and suspicion, as if there's and event that has gone on where there is a prime suspect.
By jumping from character to character with close up shots, the audience are forced to question
who the suspect is. There is a long shot used where two characters are running towards the
camera, this is successful as they get bigger and bigger as they run towards the camera. There
are many angles in which people are hiding behind people certain objects like walls creating
dark shadows to create suspense.
Evaluation of Textual Analysis –
Compare and Contrast
Trailer 1) – I would repeat the sense that there is no dialogue but just the characters falling
to the ground. I found this really interesting because its up to you to make your own
judgment on what is happening in the scene and you can interpret what you want about it. I
like the fact that there are so many different varied camera angles and shot types that were
used. When you use a mixture of them, it makes the trailer so much more exciting as there is
so many more ways of looking at things in a different way instead of a normal same shot
type and camera angle used throughout.
Trailer 2) – I love the way there are close ups and jump shots from each character. This
connotes that everyone looks suspicious and the audience are therefore left wondering who
the suspect is when they are all made out to look suspicious. I am going to do this in my own
trailer when filming, so I will jump from character to character to make them all look
suspicious as if they are the attacker that killed the victim. The dialogue used is very stern
and mysterious as the audience are not sure on what the actors are talking about. This
therefore connotes what type of soap opera is because its about lots of mysterious
happenings going on in the area.