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Charlene Fernandes - 6346 - Soap Opera Textual Analysis

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Analysis of 2 Soap Operas

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Charlene Fernandes - 6346 - Soap Opera Textual Analysis

  1. 1. OCR Media Studies – A2 Level Soap Opera Genre – Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio Independent Textual Analysis Name: Charlene Serena Fernandes Candidate Number: 6346 Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College Center Number: 64770
  2. 2. Trailer 1 – Home and Away- Who washes up trailer Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Dialogue, Voiceover, Sound Effects or Soundtrack A non-diegetic voiceover denotes a Female voice which is very low and direct- lots of rhetorical questions make it mysterious as it causes the audience to think and question the characters they thought they knew. There is a change of non-diegetic music when the voice over says “…leading to this” making it suspenseful because it is incidental music that carries on to the next set of shots, and this sound bridge symbolises how the disequilibrium in the episode will be of the main focus. The female characters could be seen as a binary opposition (Levi Strauss) to Rebecca Feasey’s (2007) ideology on the soap opera genre as these women don’t seem “strong” as they are often asking for help, where as the men, with one exception, seem very strong and display how they are the alpha males, which is shown through the diegetic dialogue when a male character says “Back off or you’ll regret it”. Non-Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Setting, Lighting, Costumes, Facial Expressions and Characters There are graphics on screen to accompany the voice over, and for the dialogue- Jack says “You’ve got until tomorrow” and previous to this is the graphic code of “tomorrow” which is also referring to the time when this episode will show, which is very effective because it has a dual purpose that is embedded very subtly. A lot of the facial expressions during but mainly at the end of the trailer connote anxiety, fear and they seem very negative expressions, which also connotes that this episode will be very mysterious because it illustrates how many of the characters could be in the ‘blame’ for this death that has come to light. In opposition to what might be expected in this genre, the trailer has a lot of high key lighting instead of low key that would really be appropriate for a death. Technical Codes – Comment on the use of Camera Angles, Shot Types and Camera Movement http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=djWE3a0sFd4 The audience are presented with a broken frame shot of a curly haired woman behind a fence, displaying how she is feeling trapped or caged in and is in need of help, which is expressed in the next shot when she says “I'm begging you, you're the only one who can help me”. This verbal code, paired with the fast paced cuts to other characters, really emphasizes who is on her side and who she is referring to. Additionally the fast paced cuts denote the frantic movements of the characters who are trying to find out who the body belongs too and who is the most suspicious. The majority of the shots are all close up shots depicting the emotions of all the characters easily, which is essential as the drama of the soap needs to be expressed through the facial features of the characters. In addition the close up shots between characters also denotes the close relationship between the characters for example Irene and Marta as they discuss Sam.
  3. 3. Trailer 2- Hollyoaks- Enchanted Forest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxociJjpKKo Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Dialogue, Voiceover, Sound Effects or Soundtrack Non-diegetic music – sound track- “You shoulda gotta a better bed, better for your head”. The trailer begins with these lyrics while at the same time showing a young female with crazy hair, perhaps a subtle allusion to how she is maybe in the wrong ‘bed’, as in she maybe be sleeping with the wrong person and there will be consequences which is illustrated through her hair, which is unfashionably poufy with corkscrew curls where as most girls prefer to have straight controlled hair which relates back to the lyrics –”better for you're head”, so if she got with the right person then her life would be better; more controlled . The other lyrics are very in tune and synchronous with the action on screen which is other wise very abstract. Brandon seems a very sketchy character on screen as soon as the lyrics “better off dead” are sung. There is no dialogue in this trailer which adds mystery to those who like myself are not familiar with the characters and it also adds to the abstract feel the trailer has since its not actually scenes from the episodes like other shows often do Non-Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Setting, Lighting, Costumes, Facial Expressions and Characters One character, Brandon, has already made a negative impression though the lyrics, but with the non-verbal code of the fox mask, is made to seem even more sketchy and ‘villainous’ (Propp) than before with many children's stories including the cunning fox that is the antagonist. Thus it can be concluded that all the animal masks in fact represent the characters personality and way of behaving. The Lighting itself is very bright and high key despite being set in a forest, which has a stereotype of being dark and scary, which could connote how on the outside, everyone's happy which is reflected in the bright lighting. In another scene the audience see two male “stags” at a game in a fair, including a hammer and a bell; it’s a test of strength that is meant to catch the other male out, however he surpasses his assumptions and hits the bell, which connotes how other males shouldn’t underestimate him, because he is in the same league as them. Competition between males is a very normal thing, and therefore I think its perfect to depict in this trailer, as Soap’s depict everyday life, but in a more dramatic way to add an entertainment factor for the middle class viewers who need some diversion for their lives. Technical Codes – Comment on the use of Camera Angles, Shot Types and Camera Movement. A range of shots are used in this trailer, all quite fast paced to match the idea of this being a party in the woods, but the actual action is made slower to let the audience really have a look at the facial expressions of the characters. Similarly the zoom movement of the character nearing the end signifies her horror at what she is playing in front of her, or at the man in front of her. The low angle up at the lanterns could connote how the light contains their hopes and dreams, however as they fly away, the viewers are given the impression that maybe these dreams are higher than themselves, and impossible to reach.
  4. 4. Evaluation of Textual Analysis – Compare and Contrast Trailer 1) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale) or ‘exploit’ (Abecrombie – 1995) The use of the broken frame shot I think is very effective because it quickly establishes how the character is feeling and their position in the episode. I think for our own trailer, ‘repeating’ this type of shot inside the church with a high angle looking down from the railings above the church will be successful since it will connote not only that the bride and groom are lower in status than the church and God itself, but how this marriage is trapping them, with them being binded together due to a lie. Also having Lyrics with match on action is very effective because with no dialogue, the lyrics have to convey what is going on. I also really liked the fast paced cuts at the end, which increased the suspense and mystery. Trailer 1) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale) or ‘exploit’ (Abecrombie – 1995) The whole abstract notion of the the trailer is very attractive, however its very hard to ‘exploit’ because a big budget will be needed due to the number of props. Also the hidden allusions with the masks is very original, and so in a different manner, we will be conveying character personalities/stereotypes through the colour of their costumes. The use of low and high angles also denote the class status very quickly, and that is why in our own trailer we will be using any high levels we can- for example in church up above.
  5. 5. Songs covers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijlbAEJElPY – Tanner howe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGIwP5dOSI8 - Josh breaks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LJOwQklIzQ - Studio cover by sunderland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqajRqYOZiI - amy geis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQnf8tlSRRE ithacappella http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy6BjtKCoUA- breath of soul 1:01

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