1. Genre research
Drama as a genre is known for its focus on character development, interpersonal
conflicts, and emotional depth. There are several codes and coventions of drama which
The setting of a drama is an essential element in creating the atmosphere for the drama
and depends on the specific story or context of the play. Dramas follow a clearly defined
narrative plot structure, portraying real-life scenerios or extreme situations with
emotionally-driven characters. Here are some common settings used in the drama
1. Domestic Settings: Many dramatic stories take place in everyday settings like homes,
apartments, or neighborhoods. These settings are used to explore family dynamics,
relationships, and personal struggles.
2. Workplace Settings: Dramas can be set in workplaces such as offices, factories,
hospitals, or schools. These settings are often used to explore the challenges and
conflicts that arise in professional environments.
3. Historical Settings: Some dramas are set in specific historical periods, allowing the
story to explore the social, political, and cultural context of that time such as the the
Veitnam War in the late 1960s. Historical dramas often require detailed period-accurate
set design and costumes.
4. Small Towns or Rural Settings: Small towns or rural areas can provide a backdrop for
dramas that explore community dynamics, isolation, and the complexities of small-town
life such as the lack of connection with the outer world.
5. Urban Settings: Cities and urban environments can be used to create a fast-paced,
modern drama. They can also highlight issues like social inequality, crime, and the
challenges of city living.
6. School or College Settings: Dramas set in educational institutions often focus on the
lives of students, teachers, and administrators. These settings can explore themes of
2. friendship, competition, and personal growth. They can also talk about the unjust work
pressure given by teachers to young students or about bullying.
7. War or Conflict Settings: Some dramas are set in the midst of war or other significant
conflicts. These settings allow for the exploration of themes like heroism, sacrifice, and
the impact of violence on individuals and societies.
8. Fantasy or Otherworldly Settings: While less common, dramas can also be set in
fantastical or otherworldly settings. These stories often use unique settings to explore
universal human themes and emotions.
Ultimately, the choice of setting in a drama is driven by the story's themes, characters,
and the emotions the creators want to evoke in the audience.
Apart from settings, the costumes worn by characters also play an important role in
making the drama more interesting. There are different types of costumes used in
1. Historical costumes, such as those worn by actors in period dramas or stage productions of
classics like "Romeo and Juliet" or "Hamlet".
2. Fantasy costumes, such as those worn by actors in fantasy or science fiction productions,
like "The Lord of the Rings" or "Star Wars".
3. Character costumes, such as those worn by actors playing specific characters, like Batman or
Makeup is also used to enhance the look of characters such as simple stage make-up used
to make actors look more attractive, on stage or on-screen, or special effects make-up used
to create the appearance of monsters, aliens or animals. Age make-up, used to show
characters younger or older than they are, and injury make-up, to show fake blood and
bruises, are also used.
Mise-en scene also includes the lighting used in the drama. Lighting can play a very crucial
role in setting the mood and emphasizing emotions. The specific lighting techniques employed
in drama can vary depending on the desired effect, but there are some common approaches:
1. Natural Lighting: In many dramatic scenes, especially those set in realistic or everyday
settings, natural lighting is used to create a sense of authenticity. This involves using
available natural light sources like windows and lamps to illuminate the scene. It can
create a warm, intimate, or casual atmosphere, depending on the time of day and the
quality of the light.
2. Low Key Lighting: Low key lighting is characterized by a high contrast between light
and shadow. It's often used in dramatic scenes to create a sense of mystery, tension, or
3. even danger. It can emphasize specific elements or characters while putting others in
darkness. Film noir is a classic example of a genre that extensively uses low key lighting.
3. High Key Lighting: High key lighting is the opposite of low key lighting, with minimal
contrast between light and shadow. It creates a bright, cheerful, and upbeat
atmosphere. High key lighting is often used in lighter, comedic, or romantic dramas.
4. Backlighting: Backlighting involves placing a strong light source behind the subject, to
emphasize the outline of characters, making them stand out from the background. It's
often used to highlight moments of revelation or dramatic entrances.
5. Motivated Lighting: Motivated lighting is when the source of light is integrated into
the scene's narrative. For example, a character may light a candle or turn on a lamp, and
this light source becomes the primary illumination for the scene. It adds a layer of
realism and can be used symbolically to represent enlightenment or a character's inner
6. Practical Lighting: Practical lighting refers to using real, functional light sources within
the scene, such as street lamps, car headlights, or neon signs. It can create a naturalistic
and immersive environment, particularly in urban or nighttime settings.
7. Color Temperature: The color temperature of the lighting can also be adjusted to
evoke specific emotions or moods. Cool colors like blue and green can create a sense of
calm or melancholy, while warm colors like red and orange can convey warmth, passion,
or tension in dramas.
8. Candlelight: Candlelight is often used in period dramas or romantic scenes to create an
intimate and nostalgic atmosphere. It can be challenging to work with, due to its low
intensity, but it can produce visually stunning results.
Lighting shows the artistic vision of the production and the emotional impact the
creators want to achieve. Different scenes within a drama may use a combination of
these lighting techniques to convey a range of emotions and atmospheres.
The type of editing used in the drama genre can vary depending on the specific film,
television show, or theatrical production and its creative intent. Editing in drama plays a
critical role in shaping the narrative, pacing, and emotional impact of the story. Here are
some common editing techniques and approaches used in the drama genre:
1. Continuity Editing: Continuity editing is the most common editing style used in drama.
It aims to create a coherent flow of action and dialogue. This type of editing ensures
that the story is easy for the audience to follow without distractions.
4. 2. Shot Reverse Shot: This editing technique is frequently used in dialogue scenes. It
involves alternating between shots of two characters in conversation, often showing one
character speaking and the other reacting. It helps maintain engagement in the
conversation and allows the audience to see both characters' expressions and reactions.
3. Cross-Cutting: Cross-cutting is a technique used to intercut between two or more
separate scenes or storylines that are occurring simultaneously or in close proximity. For
example, in a drama, cross-cutting might show a character's emotional reaction to an
event while simultaneously depicting the event itself. This builds tension and suspense.
4. Montage: Montage editing involves the rapid succession of shots to condense time,
convey emotions, or show a character's thought process. Montages are often used in
dramas to depict a character's personal growth, transformation, or the passage of time.
5. Flashbacks and Flashforwards: Dramas often use editing techniques to transition
between present-day events and past or future moments. Flashbacks and flashforwards
help provide context, reveal backstory, or create dramatic irony.
6. Slow Motion and Time Manipulation: The manipulation of time through editing
techniques like slow motion or time-lapse can be used in drama to emphasize moments
of emotional intensity, reflection, or contemplation.
Effective editing can enhance the audience's connection with the characters, heighten
tension, and convey the depth of emotions central to dramatic storytelling.
Sound is an important element in the drama genre. Sound in drama serves several
purposes, including enhancing storytelling, creating atmosphere and conveying
emotions. Here are some types of sound commonly used in drama:
1. Dialogue: Dialogue is the primary form of verbal communication among characters in a
dramatic production. It carries the plot, develops characters, and conveys emotions.
Clear and well-recorded dialogue is essential for the audience to understand the story
and connect with the characters.
2. Sound Effects: Sound effects are audio recordings or manipulations used to create
aural representations of objects, actions, or events within the story. Sound effects can be
subtle or dramatic, ranging from footsteps and door creaks to explosions and
thunderstorms. They add realism and texture to the narrative environment.
3. Music: Music is a powerful tool in drama. Composers and music supervisors carefully
select music to enhance the audience's emotional experience. Music can be used to
heighten tension, create mood, or evoke nostalgia.
5. 4. Ambient Sounds: Ambient sounds are background noises that contribute to the
atmosphere of a scene. These can include the sounds of a bustling city, a quiet forest, or
a busy restaurant. Ambient sounds help immerse the audience in the world of the story.
5. Silence: Silence is a powerful form of sound in drama. It can create tension, highlight
emotional moments, and draw the audience's attention to a specific character or action.
Pauses in dialogue or moments of silence can be just as impactful as sound.
6. Voiceovers: Voiceovers involve a character's or narrator's voice played over a scene
without them being on-screen. They are used to convey a character's inner thoughts or
provide additional information.
7. Off-Screen Sound: Off-screen sound is sound that originates from a location or source
not visible on screen. It can be used to create suspense, intrigue, or curiosity, as the
audience is left to imagine the source of the sound.
The choice of sound elements and how they are used in drama can significantly
influence the audience's emotional engagement with the story. The effective use of
sound can complement the visual and narrative elements, adding depth and richness to
the overall experience.
Camera work in drama involves various techniques and methods to capture and convey
the story visually. It plays a crucial role in enhancing the audience's understanding of the
narrative, characters, and emotions. Here are some common camera work techniques
used in the drama genre:
1. Camera Angles: The choice of camera angles can significantly impact the audience's
perception of characters and events. Different angles, such as low angles (shooting from
below), high angles (shooting from above), and eye-level angles, can be used to
emphasize power dynamics, vulnerability, or intimacy between characters.
2. Shot Types: Different shot types are used to frame characters and scenes in specific
ways. Common shot types in drama include:
Close-up: Focuses on a character's face, conveying emotions and reactions.
Medium shot: Frames characters from the waist up, showing their interactions
and body language.
Long shot: Captures characters within their environment, providing context and
Extreme long shot: Shows characters in relation to their surroundings, usually
emphasizing isolation or insignificance.
6. 3. Camera Movement: Camera movement adds depth to a scene. Techniques such as
tracking shots (moving the camera alongside characters), dolly shots (moving the
camera closer to or farther from characters), and pan/tilt shots (rotating the camera
horizontally or vertically) are used to follow characters, reveal details, and create visual
4. Steadicam and Handheld Shots: The use of Steadicam or handheld cameras can create
a sense of immediacy and intimacy. These techniques are often employed in emotionally
charged or chaotic scenes to immerse the audience in the action.
5. Composition: The framing and composition of shots are crucial in drama.
Cinematographers use techniques such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry
to create visually pleasing and meaningful compositions that convey emotions and
relationships between characters.
6. Depth of Field: Controlling the depth of field (the range of distances in which objects
are in sharp focus) is essential in drama. Shallow depth of field can isolate characters or
objects, while deep focus can provide context and show the entire scene in detail.
7. Point of View Shots: Point of view (POV) shots allow the audience to see the world
from a character's perspective, creating empathy and immersion. POV shots can be used
to convey a character's emotions or show their visual experience.
8. Static Shots: Static or stationary shots can be used for dramatic effect, emphasizing
stability. They can also highlight significant moments or reactions within a scene.
9. Frame Within a Frame: Framing characters or objects within another element within
the shot (e.g., a doorway, window, or arch) can create a sense of enclosure, entrapment,
or thematic significance.
Camera work in drama is a collaborative effort involving the director, director of
photography (DP), camera operators, and other crew members. It aims to create a visual
language that enhances the narrative, conveys emotions, and immerses the audience in
the world of the story.