Guide To Note Taking The Tv Drama Extract

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A guide to note taking for the TV Drama extract with a question based on the the opening 5 minutes of The Street series 2 episode 1

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Guide To Note Taking The Tv Drama Extract

  1. 1. KEY REVISION DOCUMENT Note-taking the extract – OCR TV Drama Exam The Street – series 2, episode 3 (BBC) Qu. Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of sexual orientation using the following: • Camera shots, angles, movement, and composition • Editing • Sound • Mise en scene Note taking – have your answer booklet open, ready to use. Key Questions during the first screening: 1. What are the units of drama (or sequences)? 2. Who are the key REPRESENTATION characters? 3. Is representation of (see question) positive, negative or sympathetic for any group? 4. Is the style of verisimilitude (naturalism) used? If not, what is - and why? At the end of the first screening, start to make a list of the units of drama. Don’t leave spaces for notes – you will do this in the gap between screenings 2 and 3 – but allow a little room to add in any units you have forgotten. During the second screening, tick off the units you have written down and add any that you missed. Key questions during the second screening 1. Who are the key STATUS characters? Does status change? Why? 2. When does the non-diegetic music start and stop? Why? 3. Is the camera stable or unstable? Does it change? Why? 4. Look for unusual camera shots – eg low angles, tilts, bird’s eyes? 5. Are there any obvious editing sequences – eg montages, shot-reverse-shot, transitions other than cuts? At the end of the second screening, in the five minute gap, do the following: 1. Check your list of drama units and re-write them down the left hand margin of one or two blank pages in your answer book using landscape format. Leave 4 or 5 lines between each unit. 2. Write Camera Editing Sound MES mise en scene as columns across the top of each page you use. 3. Check you have answers to all of the key questions for screenings 1 & 2 above. 4. Write a couple of sentences describing the overall representation message. During the third screening 1. Fill in detail notes on your grid for drama units 1, 3, 5 etc. 2. This will allow you to finish your notes for drama unit 1 whilst unit 2 is on etc. During the fourth screening 3. Fill in detail notes on your grid for drama units 2, 4, 6 etc. 4. This will allow you to finish your notes for drama unit 2 whilst unit 3 is on etc. Finally, scan your notes grid and key questions to make sure you know what techniques really construct the representation of (see question) as positive, negative, sympathetic or unsympathetic. This will be your conclusion!
  2. 2. KEY REVISION DOCUMENT Essay structure When you write the essay, follow the units of drama (sequences), commenting on each of the elements (the four bullet points). You do not have to give a separate sentence to each element: if you are writing about eg the third unit of drama, you could write a sentence that covers two or three elements if they are clearly linked in the way they contribute to meaning. Do not write an introduction – go straight into the answer. Open your essay with comment on the first shot we see. Usually this is an establishing long shot – but not always. Finish your essay with a brief conclusion summing up whether the representation of this group is positive or negative throughout the extract, linking briefly to key moments of technique that make this message come across. Example opening sentence for The Street extract: Instead of a traditional establishing long shot of the street, we have a mid shot of Tom and his wife at home. The camera is moving and cuts quickly to a mid shot of the kids eating breakfast, which gets us right into the heart of the drama straight away - asking the questions ‘what is going on?’ and ‘why is it important?’

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